Newsprint price surging

Surging newsprint (NP) prices and a supply crunch have left the global newspaper industry gasping for breath. A 40% hike—from $560 per ton to over $780 per ton in six months in an industry recently plagued by excess capacity is something few anticipated.
Data by Pulp and Paper Weekly shows bleached softwood kraft pulp prices are up 11.4% in 15 months at $880 per ton in March 2008 from $790 per ton in January 2007.
There is slim chance of NP price relief as pulp and recycled newsprint (ONP) are seeing heavy demand from packaging paper and carton-making units.
China continues to use more packaging paper and cartons for exports. This is creating a pressure on Chinese
and global packaging paper and carton manufacturing units, which use old newsprint as raw material.
The China Pulp and Paper Report shows import of ONP is increasing—going up by 15% in 2007. Chinese NP exports saw a decline of 32% in January 2008.
The growing demand for packaging and cartons has also led many international paper manufacturers to shift their product profile away from NP, further fueling the scarcity. Experts say Chinese NP exports globally may reduce drastically as ONP prices increase.
Increasing energy, labor and freight costs also are raising the price of NP.
—from TNN

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