Japan Packaging Industry hits US$60bn in 2013

The Japanese packaging industry grew to US$59.4 billion in the financial year of 2013, with paper packaging products and pouch forming and filling machinery making up the majority of the packaging materials and equipment sector respectively.

In FY2013 (April 2013 to March 2014), Japan's packaging industry grew by more than 2% over the previous year to hit ¥6.049 trillion (US$59.4 billion) in value - representing 1.27% of the national GDP.

Packaging materials and containers

Of the total, packaging materials and containers represented ¥5.608 trillion, while packaging machinery contributed ¥441 billion. By volume, 18.75 million tons of packaging materials and container were produced while 356,000 units of packaging machinery were manufactured.

Paper packaging products made up the majority of packaging materials and containers produced by both shipment value and volume at 41.8% and 62.5% respectively. This was followed by plastic packaging products which constituted 29.7% of shipment value and 18.7% of volume.

With a total volume of 1.62 million tonnes, metal packaging products returned a value of ¥9.4 billion, giving it a 17% market share. Other packaging materials such as seals, labels, tapes, textile products and cellophanes made up 7% of total packaging value in 2013, or ¥3.8 billion.

Glass, always the poor relation, accounted for 2% of the total material shipments valued at ¥1.24 billion. Wood, which is still significantly used in the packaging of more traditional products, performed better than glass with ¥1.39 billion, or 2.5% of value.

Packaging machinery

Japan saw packaging machinery sales pick up over the past two years, up 3% since the tsunami disaster of 2011 to ¥441.4 billion in 2013.

Pouch forming and filling machines saw the highest demand with a total of 5,686 units delivered, representing a total of ¥60.5 billion. Meanwhile, bottling machinery gained the second highest value at ¥57.9 billion, with a total of 3,887 units.

Filling equipment also performed well with total installations of 3,075 units valued at ¥37.8 billion, while general container (non-pouch) form and filling equipment also performed well with sales of ¥13.3bn.

However, canmaking equipment sales remained flat at ¥1.7 billion, with just 130 units installed.