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Global printing market to top $980 billion by 2018

Global printing is forecast to reach $980 billion by 2018, driven by growth in packaging and labels, rather than graphic applications, and digital rather than analogue printing, according to a new market report by Smithers Pira.

The Future of Global Printing to 2018 provides a detailed five year forecast of the global printing market. Based on expert research and analysis, this report contains more than 325 tables and figures revealing essential industry trends and information on technology.

Printing markets are changing, many publishing products have electronic versions replacing previously printed volumes. E-books, on-line newspaper and magazines are taking significant sections of their respective markets, while directories, catalogues and brochures have electronic alternatives, more transactions are electronic reducing demand for currency and cheques and advertising spend is moving into new areas including on-line. These factors, alongside the continued growth of social networking, result in declining volumes of many print products, but not packaging and labels where demand is growing.

The print technology in use is also changing. Digital printing is now taking much more share, particularly in graphics (i.e. non-packaging applications). Digital's share of the whole market doubles in constant value terms from 9.5% in 2008 to 19.7% by 2018, when packaging is excluded this share is 23.5% in 2012 to 38.1% by 2018 although the print volume share remains low, according to Smithers Pira. Digital generally commands much higher values, with print suppliers demonstrating the effectiveness of the products.

While the printing and printed packaging sectors are global, regionally there are very different market developments with the more mature sectors providing technology transfer and second hand equipment into the emerging regions. Many customers are global, with advertisers, publishers and packaging buyers demanding high quality, consistent products everywhere.

Figure E.4 Regional printing market, 2008-2018 ($billion, constant 2012 prices and exchange rates)

Future of global printing to 2018 graph

Source: Smithers Pira
The USA is the world's biggest print market but The Future of Global Printing to 2018 forecasts that this will change within the next five years. In 2014 China will overtake the United States in print volume terms after many years of very strong growth across all areas of print and in constant value terms in 2018. India will move up from tenth to fifth in the period. Mexico, Brazil and Russia will move up the tables with the mature markets all losing position. These relative changes are important for print supply companies as they demonstrate where the consumable volumes and appetite for investment continue to lie.

The Future of Global Printing to 2018 is available to purchase online and receive immediately for £3950.

Source: Smithers Pira