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Paper prices to increase in February

Australian paper prices are set to increase in February 2019, following price rises by paper suppliers in 2018, reports Print21.

Three major Australian paper suppliers, Ball & Doggett, Spicers, and Direct Paper, announced separate price increases in February, March and August this year. Suppliers have indicated that they will again raise prices by five to seven percent in February, meaning that the cost of a printing job will increase by about two percent.

The rising costs of raw materials, shipping and energy, as well as depreciation of the Australian dollar, and Chinese government constraints on the supply of pulp have contributed to the steady increase in worldwide paper prices since 2017.

Bigger publishers will be the most affected by the rising cost of paper, according to an article published by the Australian Publishers Association (APA) earlier this month. Smaller publishers will still be affected, but have more flexibility due to smaller print runs. Local printers may risk losing contracts to offshore suppliers, despite contracts generally containing a ‘rise-and-fall’ clause that covers the fluctuating cost of stock.

‘The sharp increase in paper prices is a major concern,’ Hachette ANZ CEO Louise Sherwin-Stark told the APA. ‘We endeavour to print as much as possible onshore. This strategy is not limited to our Australian books, as printing the bulk of our international frontlist improves our speed to market, reduces our freight costs, particularly expensive and environmentally costly airfreight. Printing locally is the best option to ensure Australian readers can access the books they want to read as soon as possible and supports the local print industry and jobs.’

 

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