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Paper prices to climb again in February

Wednesday, 28 November 2018
By Jake Nelson

Going up again: paper prices to rise in February

The major paper suppliers will raise their prices again in the new year, likely by five to seven per cent, citing increased costs of raw materials. The merchants anticipate implementing these increases in February.

Local merchants are also being hit by an unholy trinity of tightening capacity from mills, a falling Aussie dollar, and increased shipping costs.

Typically each three per cent increase in paper prices adds around one per cent to the cost of printed job, meaning the upcoming rises will add around two per cent to the cost of a job. Printers are also being hit by increases in ink prices. Print sell prices though remain depressed across much of the industry.

Spicers will raise its prices by five to seven per cent across all colour commercial, digital, and packaging board stocks from 19 February, with Ken Booth, general manager for supply chain and product segments, saying it is in response to increased costs from suppliers. “As has been our policy, we will continue to try and internally mitigate the severity of these increases where possible. However, to ensure the sustainability of our channels, Spicers has no option but to pass through at least a portion of these incremental costs to our market,” said Booth.

Dale O’Neill, director of the country’s third-largest supplier, Direct Paper, also indicated his company’s prices would go up from late January or early February. “It would be somewhere in the vicinity of about five to six per cent across pretty much the entire range,” he said. “It’s off the back of a supplier increase. There’s increased cost of raw materials, mill increases pushing through to the market. As a business, we try to keep our increases to a bare minimum, but some things can’t be helped.”

Print21 was unable to reach Ball & Doggett prior to this newsletter going out, but it is almost certain to be facing the same upward pressure on prices as the other merchants.

There were at least three price hikes by the major merchants over the course of 2018, with the last occurring in August.

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