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Australian paper price hikes predicted for August

Thursday, 29 July 2004
By Print 21 Online Article

Merchants are hoping the price rise will stick, citing up to 10 per cent increases in the price of landed paper in recent times. Despite the stronger Australian dollar, price increases in Asia are pushing the market higher. Strong demand, especially from China, and an improving world economy has seen price rises in a number of markets. European mills are expected to follow suit, although they have been less successful in passing on increased cost to their local customers due to the relatively moribund European economy.

“It has to come. Paper margins have been under pressure for years now. I think the printers will recognise it is justified,” said Simon Doggett, of KW Doggett Fine Paper. He expects most of the merchants will inform their customers of higher prices over the next few months.

The increased consolidation of the Australian and to a lesser extent, the New Zealand printing market, makes it more difficult for paper merchants to pass on price rises. Larger printing companies have the clout to resist and maintain the status quo.

Even so, it has been a long time between drinks for the paper merchants and industry observers expect the sector to do its utmost to get some better profit margins into the business.

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