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Printing and Packaging

Companies in industry

PRINTING SECTOR

After the regaining of Latvian independence in 1991, the field of printing started to develop very quickly. Several printing houses from the Soviet times were privatized and lots of new printing houses were established. During the last few years, graphic companies have prepared for the increasing level of competition in the media market.

Today there are approximately 120 printing companies in Latvia. The total output of the sector in 2012 reached EUR 300 million, which is four percent of the total output of the Latvian manufacturing industry.

 Production Volumes, million EUR

 Source: Association of Latvian Printing Companies

The fastest growing segments are packaging materials and label printing, as well as books and products in softcover binding.

Turnover Related to Product Groups in 2012

Source: Association of Latvian Printing Companies

The long-term increase of production volumes in the printing sector has provided the sector’s export potential and showed that the sector’s development is based on export volumes. Future development is mainly based on the economic situation in global export markets, while the domestic market is developing rather slowly.

Latvia’s joining the EU in May 2004 has encouraged and simplified foreign trade and communication. Exports from the Latvian printing industry have increased, and this trend is still continuing. After the global economic crisis, the pre-crisis export level was reached and even exceeded by 2010, bringing positive signals to the sector. In 2012 export volumes reached 65% of the total output for the sector. Currently, continuous growth in the export share has been observed. The key aspects of the sector’s competitiveness in foreign markets are high levels of quality and short delivery times, as well as cost effectiveness.

Today, the largest markets are Norway, Denmark, Sweden, Iceland, Germany, the Netherlands, United Kingdom, Russia, Finland, and Poland. The main export products, such as books and magazines, go to Western Europe and Scandinavia, while labels and packaging are sent to the Eastern markets. Latvian printing and packaging companies are strong competitors in Russia, Ukraine, and Belarus, with high-quality packaging and labels. Prestige and printed materials with added value include art books, illustrated magazines, guidebooks, and packaging for food, perfumery, and medicine. Latvia ranks second in Europe in the export of books, with an export value of 80%.

Investments in Printing Sector, million EUR

Source: Association of Latvian Printing Companies

Despite a significant decrease in investment in 2009, about EUR 170 million investments have been made in the sector from 2004 to 2012.

PACKAGING SECTOR

The packaging industry in Latvia has witnessed a rapid development over the last 20 years. Latvian companies manufacture various types of packaging – jars, vessels, blister packages, labels, board boxes, laminated bags and sacks, egg crates, paper bags, PET bottles, polymer boxes, and tubes.

Great attention is paid to the packaging of ecological materials, and there is a growing demand for exclusive, personalized entertainment packages. Latvian companies can provide a wide range of technological facilities, handiwork, and unique design works.

The packaging industry’s growing production volumes show that the general economic situation has improved in previous years.

The most commonly used type of packaging in Latvia is packaging from glass, followed by polymers, paper, and cardboard. From recycled packaging, the most recycled materials in Latvia are metal, glass, paper, and cardboard, while energy recovery mainly uses such materials as paper, cardboard, and wood.

The prevalent packaging materials in export are products from wood, with manufacturing volumes of EUR 69 million or 42% from all packaging export amounts in 2012. More than 70 companies deal with wood packaging production.

Export of Packaging Materials, million EUR

Source: Latvian Packaging Association

The second most important product group, with export volumes of EUR 53 million, is packaging from paper, forming almost one-third of the total export volumes. Most of the paper products are exported to Estonia and Lithuania. 80 companies manufacture products from paper and cardboard. 17% of all exported packaging comprise packaging from polymers.

The main export countries for the packaging sector are Germany, France, United Kingdom, and Russia.

Packaging waste management in Latvia is regulated by the Packaging Act (in force since July 1, 2002). The main purpose of this document, as well as other regulations issued by the government and the Ministry of Environmental Protection and Regional Development, refers to packaging producers and processors, affecting liabilities and environmental protection, requirements for the management of packaging waste, packaging recycling, re-use of packaging, etc.

Additional Information:
Printing and Packaging Industry in Latvia
Central Statistical Bureau of Latvia: www.csb.gov.lv
Ministry of Economics of the Republic of Latvia: www.em.gov.lv
Latvian Printers’ Association: www.lpua.lv
Packaging Association of Latvia: www.packaging.lv