The price of paper went crazy and threw the world into a new panic – it kills newspapers and leaves us without packaging

For a whole year now, the publishing business has been on the brink – apart from the fact that prices are dancing every month, there is no predictability and deliveries are delayed for months.

While everyone stares in bewilderment, surprise and anxiety at the record rise in electricity and gas prices, a significant industry – the publishing industry – is under unprecedented pressure.

Only from the beginning of 2021 until now

price of

the newspaper

paper c

Bulgaria is

picked up

almost double

show data of importers. In January it was BGN 970 per ton, in May it rose to BGN 1,030 to reach BGN 1,600 from January 15.

Since the beginning of the pandemic, governments around the world have supported the print media in various ways. The Bulgarian executive power, neither under the Prime Minister Boyko Borissov, nor with his official colleague Stefan Yanev, made any efforts in support of this business, which is at the forefront in the battle with COVID-19.

The paper is imported to Bulgaria mainly from Russia, which is a world leader in this production. And since the last quarter of last year, one of the largest factories there has changed prices every month.

The Bulgarian company Poligrafsnab, which is the largest importer of this product, explained that at the beginning of last year there was predictability of prices and they changed quarterly. From mid-2021, however, they receive a letter every month from Russian producers to raise prices. The last one is from the days before Christmas and announced another price increase on January 15. Another fact that is extremely worrying is

it is broken


in deliveries

Thus, in addition to becoming more expensive, paper is increasingly a scarce commodity. In practice, this means that print media publishers are forced, on the one hand, to raise product prices and, on the other hand, to reduce the volume of newspapers and magazines.

The problem is far from affecting only our country. The difference in the price of newsprint around the world is minimal, according to the Russian company Volga Paper. In Romania, for example, before July 2021, the price of a tonne of paper was 485 euros. In July and August it is already 515 euros, and the forecast for this month is to reach 650 euros.

Producers explain the constant increase in the price with a shortage of raw materials for its production. And when there is a delay in deliveries, the requested quantities begin to be processed sometimes with a month or two delay.

The world is in a panic not only because of the dizzying rise in gas and electricity prices, but also because of it

the huge

appreciation of

the paper and hers

we can feel everything


write the western media. The wrapping paper is running out, the delivery boxes for online orders – too.

The international company Lecta announced in September that it will offer its printing paper with 10% more, and the production of the Italian Burgo has risen in price by 50 euros per ton. The Portuguese paper company Navigator, which sells in 150 countries, has announced a rise in prices of between 6% and 9%.

Among the main reasons are the increase in the price of raw materials (cellulose and chemicals) and the higher transport costs caused by the pandemic.

Experts comment that the pulp market covers 6-7 million tons per year, and during the pandemic about 1.5 million tons of them were not produced.

The shortage of paper also stems from the huge growth in consumption in China, where the economy is recovering rapidly from the crown crisis. Logically, paper manufacturers direct the bulk of their supplies to China because they sell quickly at high prices. Beijing’s policy of cleaner air is also hitting the publishing business.

China has banned imports of plastic waste and unsorted recycled paper, which the country’s factories used to make newsprint. Obsolete factories, including paper, were also closed. With the decision, Beijing increased imports of pulp, as well as newsprint, which led to its rise in price. This year, for example, the price of a ton of pulp has risen from $ 500 to $ 800.

The sharp increase in online commerce due to the pandemic further raises prices because

there is a boom in

the search of

packaging and



Some of the factories redirected their production in this segment and there was a shortage of newsprint, which significantly increased its price. The South West newspaper cites data showing that the price of pulp has jumped by 60% in a year and there are no expectations of a decline.

According to US data, paper, pulp and corrugated cardboard have risen by more than 20% year on year. Recycled fiber used for canning and packaging has increased in price to $ 159 per tonne from $ 54 before.

Waste paper costs about 200 euros per tonne, a historic record, and the price has risen by more than 75%. In addition, many producers in Europe have ceased operations in recent years. Since 2016, production capacity has shrunk by a total of 8.2 million tons.

Swedish paper giant Stora Enso alone has reduced its volume by more than 1 million tonnes of paper and plans to close factories as well as switch mainly to cardboard boxes. The Slovenian plant Vitop has stopped and 200,000 tons are gone on the European market. One of the Austrian factories changes from newsprint to wrapping paper. There are such announcements for other plants in Germany and Sweden.

French printers say that

deliveries are

delay three-

four months

and there is no certainty for 2022. The Swiss edition of the Tribune de Geneva points out that books and newspapers are under threat across Europe. They must fight unequally against the competition of cardboard for online order packaging, the lack of recycled paper and the transport crisis. The Swiss Association of the Printing Industry reports that orders for paper for periodicals for 2022 have now come out, but no wholesaler has submitted a bid and has not committed to deliveries.

Everywhere orders, commitments and deliveries are slow and are canceled almost daily. Publishers in Germany comment that their agreed deliveries have been completely canceled due to force majeure. And they suggest that a shortage of paper could bring the business model of publishers and printers to collapse. And the exits are not many –

or reduction

of the volume of


or lifting

at their prices

But the cover price of newspapers in Bulgaria, for example, is greatly underestimated, in Western Europe newspapers are 2 euros each.

For 15 years, paper production has shrunk, and the few factories that remain produce mainly cardboard for packaging. And in the current situation, paper producers are still unable to make up for the increased consumption.

Petar Kanev: Without the help of the state, the printing industry will not emerge from the crisis

The process of rising prices began half a year ago, when the prices of all cellulosic materials, paper, cardboard, polyethylene and others rose by between 50 and 100%. The trend is similar to that of electricity, gas, oil. This was commented to “24 Chasa” by Petar Kanev, chairman of the Union of the Printing Industry and deputy chairman of the economic committee in parliament.

According to him, the biggest problem of this shock is for those who work with framework contracts. The whole polygraphy was damaged, but mostly the newspapers and the book publishing, Kanev is categorical. He explained that the reasons for the rise are most likely related to the new wave of the Green Deal. And mainly with the sharp reduction of pulp production in connection with deforestation. And the production of cellulose is highly dependent on the prices of energy and fuels, which form a large part of its production cost.

In many countries, governments are finding ways to help overcome this crisis. It is good that our country is looking for a way to do this. It is difficult to talk about compensation. But once we enter a closed cycle, without her help it is difficult to get out of it. As members of CEIBG, we expect a dialogue from the executive branch. I say this as President of the Union of the Printing Industry, which has over 100 legal and natural members. And as deputy chairman of the parliamentary economic committee, the MP added.


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