TOKYO (Nikkei)Japan Pulp & Paper Co. (8032) is building a sales network in India, having acquired a 49% interest in a major local paper distributor.
The Japanese paper wholesaler, known as JP, bought the stake in KCT Trading for an estimated 700-800 million yen from relatives of its management. The Kolkata-based company operates 13 sales offices in such cities as Mumbai, Delhi and Chennai.
JP will market thin printing paper used in catalogs, fliers and magazines via KCT in India, where such paper is hardly produced. JP will import North American and European products, which generally offer high quality at prices lower than Japanese paper. For the time being, Japanese-made paper will not be sold, due to its high prices.
India's per-capita paper consumption came to 9.1kg in 2010 just 1/24 of Japan's. At the same time, imports accounted for 18% of consumption in the South Asian country, compared with 7% in Japan. JP contends that paper use and demand for imports will grow in India as its economy expands. It will also consider exporting Indian-made low-cost inkjet paper to Japan and other markets.