Difficult situation in the paper industry 2021 - is paper the new gold?

The prices for paper are rising and there are several reasons for this. Even before the start of the pandemic, the general trend was that the demand for graphic papers kept decreasing, while at the same time it kept increasing in the area of packaging papers.

The prices for paper are rising
© Die Papierindustrie e.V.
Source:  News

The Corona pandemic also intensified this trend: due to short-time work, digitalisation and work from home, the already declining demand for graphic papers, especially in offices, had fallen even further. At the same time, more and more people ordered goods online during the lockdowns, some of which lasted several months, which in turn further increased the consumption of packaging paper and cardboard.

In addition, the raw material wood is currently scarce worldwide and only available at very high prices, if at all. Wood is the raw material from which pulp is made, which in turn is an important component in paper production.

Bottlenecks in the supply of recovered paper - another important component in paper production - and the associated price increases have also resulted in higher prices for paper products.

Added to this are the increased prices in the energy sector and the rise in the price of many chemicals, also due to a shortage of raw materials. One example of this is the company Solenis, which supplies important chemicals needed for paper production to paper manufacturing companies worldwide and which has already increased prices sharply three times this year alone.

The constantly rising paper prices for all these reasons naturally also pose special challenges for publishing houses and printing plants. For example, the news magazine "Der Spiegel" recently quoted the head of a printing house as saying: "Is paper becoming the new gold?"

It remains to be seen whether this will develop into a lasting trend towards ever higher paper prices.

After all, the association "Die Papierindustrie e.V." recently announced (news of August, 6th) that paper production had picked up significantly in the first half of 2021 compared to the previous year.