6 October 2021
Paper Shortage Affecting High Volume Printers
NORTH AMERICA—
Paper inventories are at an all time low
Paper inventories are at an all time low
Skyrocketing demand  for packaging, catalogs and printed books  during the pandemic has slashed paper supply across North America, and it couldn’t have come at a worse time for printers.  With some mills converting to cardboard to meet the spike in e-commerce deliveries and others shutting down altogether, more than 2.5 million metric tons of North American printing and writing paper capacity — or nearly one-fifth of 2019 levels —
Paper machines converted  to corrugated has reduced printing papers supply
Paper machines converted to corrugated has reduced printing papers supply
has come offline since the start of last year. In the past , printers  looked overseas  for supply, but soaring logistics costs and other markets’ own booming packaging demand have limited that option.  Now supplies of certain grades are so tight that some commercial printers can’t get the paper they need. The catalog  printers woes  are just the latest pandemic-fueled disruption slamming the sector. Book publishers are also reporting challenges getting the paper and transportation they need to roll out new titles. Demand for paper products was already running high with the retail industry expecting its biggest back-to-school shopping season in at least five years after a year of virtual learning.
 
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