Market Data

Presentation February 2018: packaging industry performance in 2017 and prospects for 2018


The exclusive macroeconomic study of the Brazilian packaging industry carried out by IBRE (Brazilian Institute of Economics) / FGV (Fundação Getúlio Vargas) twenty-one years ago for ABRE shows that the gross value of the physical production of packaging reached the amount of R$ 71.5 billion, an increase of approximately 5.1% compared to the R$ 68 billion reached in 2016.



Plastics represent the largest share of the production value, corresponding to 38.85% of the total, followed by the cellulose packaging sector with 34.09% (including the sectors of corrugated cardboard with 17.36%, poster paper and paperboard with 11, 57% and paper with 5.16%), metal with 18.15%, glass with 4.44%, textile for packaging with 2.53% and wood with 1.95%.




After three years of unfavorable results in the sector, the production of the packaging industry showed a growth of 1.96% in 2017.



According to the study, the result was influenced by the performance of the main user industries that showed a moderate recovery and an increase in their production, ranging from non-durable consumer products, from fast consumption to segments of durable products, such as electronics or even construction.

The projection for the year 2018 – calculated by an econometric model that uses variables such as seasonality, trend and production of the manufacturing industry – is a growth of 2.96% in its physical production.


According to the study, recovery is unlikely to be faster and growth is higher than expected.  Some factors such as frustration with social security reform, pressures to use “shortcuts” that allow for greater growth, elections, political uncertainties, international geopolitics, etc. can directly influence negatively impacting the overall economy, reducing projected growth.

Of the five classes of packaging, four registered growth in 2017, with glass containers having the highest growth (3.39%), followed by plastic (3.37%), paper / cardboard / paperboard (2, 99%) and wood (0.56%). The exception was the metal packaging that presented a retraction of -3.92%.





All major packaging users showed a recovery in production in 2017, impacting on the positive results of the packaging sector.



Although the packaging sector is directly impacted by the results of the industry, its growth and contraction variations are milder than the industry in general, as shown in the comparative chart below:



The level of employment in the industry reached 218,146 jobs in December 2017, a quota that is 1.12% higher than that of December 2016.

The plastic industry is the one that most employs, totaling, in December 2017, 115,558 formal jobs, corresponding to 52.97% of the total jobs in the sector. Next comes corrugated cardboard with 32,355 employees (14.83%), paper with 21.659 (9.93%), metallic with 17,720 (8.12%), wood with 13.475 (6.18%), poster paper and paperboard with 9,685 (4.44%) and glass with 7.694 (3.53%).





In 2017 direct exports of the packaging sector had revenues of US$ 544 million, a figure that represents a growth of 10.67% compared to the year 2016. Plastic packaging corresponded to 39.80% of the total exported, followed by metallic ones with 35.67% in second place. Paper, cardboard and paperboard packaging were in third place, corresponding to 19.26% of the total exported, followed by glass containers (3.90%) and wood (1.37%).

In relation to the growth of exports by segment, the metal packaging sector led with an increase of 22.67% in the total value exported last year, followed by plastic (12.80%) and glass (11.74%) packaging. Meanwhile, the wood and paper/cardboard packaging sectors decreased by -31.76% and -6.03%, respectively.




Imports grew by 5.87% in the year 2017 in comparison with the previous year, with a total of US$ 527.3 million. The plastics sector accounted for 57.80% of the total imports, followed by metal (18.19%), glass (13.52%), paper / cardboard (10.37%) and wood (0.12%).

In relation to the performance of imports by segment, all classes showed growth, with the largest wood packaging accounting for 117.18%, followed by glass (16.49%), metallic (5.30%), paper / cardboard (4.63%) and plastic (3.93%).