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Industry Insight

Printers are Concerned over Increasing Paper Prices

There is a report from England that “Printers are concerned over increasing paper prices” What is wrong with this formula?

By Bob Sacks
Published: December 8, 2008

There is a report from England that “Printers are concerned over increasing paper prices”

What is wrong with this formula? The price of oil just dropped below $40 a barrel and M-real is raising prices on paper again. Is it just me or is there some new toxin in the air of the mills that keeps them on the brink of total self-destruction? Hey, I was a paper guy once, and I still have all the pathos for the tree business of an old and wizened paper salesman. But it is fading and it is fading fast.

[caption id="" align="alignright" width="300" caption="Printers are Hoping for the Best Outcome"]Printers are Hoping for the Best Outcome[/caption]

Say what? They said that printers have expressed concern at the latest paper price rises, which are set to hit the industry as the UK teeters on the brink of recession.

Printers spoke out this week following M-real’s announcement of a further price increase of 8% for its coated fine paper and magazine paper, which will come into effect in early 2009.

M-real, which has already increased prices this year, said that the scale of rises so far had been insufficient and stressed the need for price increases in all of its main product areas in order to improve profitability.

I say that somebody somewhere needs to get in touch with the current global economic crisis. Not only that, I say they are out of touch with the reality of the emerging new digital order. It’s hard enough to make a living putting solvent and pigment on dead trees without some uninformed banker making things even more difficult than it needs or ought to be.

There is always a time and place for reasonable price increases. That is the sensible and practical way of capitalism. Sustainable long term-growth is a good thing and we like that. The normal plan is that we are supposed to make a profit and fair market increases are good for business. But it makes no sense to drive your few remaining customers out and on to the ledge, and then just push them off, to seek more profitable platforms and new methods of communications elsewhere. At least that is this mans opinion.



By Mark on Dec 09, 2008

The situation is different in the US. The prices for most grades of publication paper peaked more than a month ago, as reported by Dead Tree Edition (http://deadtreeedition.blogspot.com/2008/10/paper-prices-heading-down.html). Most prices have decreased, newsprint makers are struggling to maintain current prices, and only SCA seems likely to rise a bit, but only a bit, in the next few months.


By Paul Carney on Dec 18, 2008

Yet another industry that fails being intouch with reality. Transportation was the last excuse for price increases. Next year will be down for the paper industry and it may come as a suprise to them. I expect the light bulb will go off when they walk through their warehouses looking for space to put the unsold merchandise. Learn from Wal-mart and price to the market.


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