We have been keeping a close eye on costs of paper and read a recent article on Publishers Weekly which charts the rise of paper in the US.
We all know that inevitably it will ripple across the water to the UK and have a direct effect on the cost to produce books and printed matter generally, this rise, if it continues, will of course see the off the shelf cost of books rising.
The following is an excerpt from Publishers Weekly:
“A recent report by printer Quad Graphics noted that the cost of uncoated groundwork paper rose $35 per ton on February 1 and rose another $25 per ton March 1. Costs have risen in part because of a reduction in supply, as a number of Canadian mills have either closed or, in search of better margins, switched from producing paper to manufacturing other products, such as packaging, explained Matt Baehr, executive director of the Book Manufacturers’ Institute; the institute recently held its annual meeting, which focused on paper issues.
“Supply has also been reduced by an environmental crackdown in China, which has reduced the amount of imports from there, said John Maine, v-p for global graphic paper at RISI (a company that analyzes the forest product market) and a speaker at the BMI conference. Another factor driving up prices, Maine noted, is that the cost of pulp has increased by 25% over the past 18 months. Also adding to the cost is higher transportation charges, as trucking companies cope with driver shortages and higher fuel costs. In the near future, Maine told BMI attendees, “tight markets due to supply cuts, rising costs, and a weaker dollar will push up the cost of paper.”
Complicating the longer-term outlook for paper pricing and supply are tariffs that have been imposed on paper produced in Canada. The tariffs came after the Washington State–based North Pacific Paper Corp. (Norpac) asked the Department of Commerce and the International Trade Commission to investigate imports of uncoated groundwood, which it believed were being subsidized by the Canadian government and/or being dumped in the U.S. at reduced prices. The DoC agreed in its initial ruling, and duties and antidumping penalties ranging up to 32% have already been imposed on Canadian paper imports ahead of a final hearing by the ITC later this year.”
You can read the full article here
At present there is certainly no need to panic but we will continue to keep an eye on things.