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HomeAssociationsShortage of Paper Will Have Severe Effect on Graphic Industry

Shortage of Paper Will Have Severe Effect on Graphic Industry

26 March 2022: Several members of the World Print & Communication Forum (WPCF) warn that the current papershortages will have severe repercussions in the supply of print products for all economic markets and endangers the rebound of the graphic industry after the pandemic.

The graphic industry supports all economic activities with their products, be it for information, news, entertainment, education, advertising or packaging. Print plays a huge role in everyday life – so much so that it is frequently overlooked. Our sector supplies the packaging for goods at the supermarket, the books, newspapers and magazines we read as well as the boxes our digitally ordered food, clothing, gadgets and much more are packaged in.

While during the past two years graphic products have clearly witnessed a decline, demand is now almost back to pre-pandemic levels in most countries. In 2020 customers were forced to reduce print advertising and many switched to electronic means fortheir communication. In mid-2021, this market has come back to print, but customers are now facing surging prices and uncertainty about the supply of paper and board.

The ongoing strike in some Nordic paper mills aggravates the situation not only in Europe, but also in other countries such as the US. The stocks of printing companies will not last until the strike has been settled and printers will be forced to announce to their customers theirincapacity to fulfilthe orders. The inability to print will cause large financial losses not only to the printing company, but also to the final customer.

Tensions on all markets are increasing with the warin the Ukraine and will cause additional supply problems to produce forest-based products that source their wood or pulp from Russia or the Ukraine.

Kamal Chopra, President of WPCF and Chairman International Relations of the All India Federation of Master Printers states “During the past two years, printed products have witnessed a decline, but now demand is rebounding to pre-pandemic levels. Now customers are facing surging prices and uncertainty about the supply of paper and board. Industry leaders are saying there will be further paper price increases in the near future and the printers’ costs will quadruple. And even if you are willing to pay the price, there is a shortage of paper. It seems either mills have stopped its production or emphasised on exporting their production, thus there is a scarcity of paper.”

Ford Bowers Director Printing United Alliance warns “Print as an industry is uniquely threatened by the supply chain issues that are roiling economies around the world, especially as it relates to paper shortages. This creates a ripple effect as lack of paper products, marketing materials, packaging, and other necessities of business creates a drag on recovery in many different markets. Print is one of the essential requirements for business transactions at all levels of delivery for virtually all goods and services.”

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