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Third paper hike this year as pulp prices soar

Friday, 03 August 2018
By Print21
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Paper merchants Spicers, Ball & Doggett and Direct Paper have all announced price rises of between 3%-8%, citing increases in pulp, energy costs, shipping and the depreciation of the Australian dollar.

This will be the third price rise this year with Australia’s three largest paper merchants predicting more are on the way. Alternative uses for pulp as well as mill closures across the globe are changing the dynamics of paper manufacturing and supply. Print is having to adjust its prices everywhere.

“As we move into the second half of the year, the increases in global pulp pricing show no signs of letting up, with all of our key suppliers remaining under enormous pressure to review their pricing into this market,” Ball & Doggett’s state manager NSW James McGrath advised customers in an email.

“As you can see from the chart below, pulp prices continued to rise over the last quarter and are projected to continue for the rest of the year. To compound this, there continues to be increases in energy, ocean freight and a depreciating AUD against our major currency trading partners.”McGrath says Ball & Doggett has been able to absorb some increases through internal operational efficiency gains. “Unfortunately, we are unable to absorb all increases and as such we are advising that effective Monday 3rd September we are implementing price increases across our range as follows:

Coated Paper & Board 6%; Uncoated Sheets (Imported) 6% (Local) 4%; Grange Carbonless Sheets 4%; Synthetic Sheets 3%; Packaging Boards 5%;
Specialty Papers 4%; Rigid Media 5%;
 Foils 6%.

Spicers’ David Rowland, group regional manager, NSW/ACT/QLD, says its paper prices will rise between 3% and 7%, effective Monday 10th September.

“As I am sure you are aware, our highly competitive industry continues to be challenging for all participants with further increases in input costs and direct costs of materials through manufacturer increases, power cost and freight,” Rowland told customers via email. “Spicers has tried to internally mitigate the severity of these costs, however recently we have received further price increases from our suppliers.

“In order 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. Our portfolio will be impacted as set our below:

Coated Woodfree Folio Sheets and Digital 7%; All other Colour Commercial and Digital 5%; Industrial Packaging 3%. 

Direct Paper is increasing its prices from between 5% and 8% from Monday 3rd September. “Whilst market conditions remain trying, this announcement will assist in recovering the higher costs passed on from our paper & paperboard manufacturers,” says Dale O’Neill, sales director, Direct Paper.

Direct Paper price increases.

“Please be aware that mill costs are continuing to increase and it may be necessary for us to revisit pricing over the coming months,” O’Neill says.

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