Notebooks, toilet paper, cardboard… Why is the price of paper increasing?

The price of paper has soared since the start of the year: Manufacturers have sometimes doubled their prices, raising fears of massive increases on consumer products, from back-to-school notebooks to toilet paper.

Why is the price of paper rising?

With the resumption of consumption after the lockdowns, the demand for paper increased sharply and suddenly, causing difficulties in the supply of raw materials and transportation.

In April, pulp, the raw material for paper and cardboard, cost more than 40% more than in the same period of 2019, before the pandemic.

In an industry that consumes a lot of energy to dry the paper pulp and run the machines that form the sheets, the rise in the cost of gas or electricity since the start of the war in Ukraine also has a significant impact.

Added to this are specific problems depending on the type of paper: for newsprint, the rise in prices is partly linked to a drop in production, with producers abandoning this sector in the face of the drop in newspaper sales.

On the other hand, for corrugated paper used to make boxes, prices are driven up by the growing demand for packaging boxes for e-commerce or for the food industry, which is trying to abandon single-use plastic. .

What are the consequences of this increase?

The situation is sometimes tense for manufacturers, but they have been able to transfer price increases to their customers in the face of rising costs.

But this inflation has an impact downstream on all user sectors, i.e. a large part of the economy, from the press to hygiene papers, including food packaging and cardboard of all kinds.

Will the price of school supplies increase at the start of the school year?

Like all paper producers, notebook manufacturers are facing rising costs. The particularity of this sector is that it negotiates its selling prices with mass distribution in the autumn for the following school year: those for the next school year were therefore set at a time when the price of paper had already increased, but still far from current records. Distributors have committed to increases of 12 to 15% in the purchase price of paper school supplies for September 2022, which could also increase the price on the shelves for the consumer.

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