Paper price increases for 2018

Spicers, Ball & Doggett and Direct Paper, which form the majority of the paper merchants, are set to push through a 6-10 per cent price increase on board and paper between now and February.

The rises mean that printers will be faced with an increased per job cost of between two and three per cent, and will have to choose between absorbing that into already thin margins or passing it on to customers.

Dale O’Neil, director for Direct Paper says, “It is unfortunate, but mills’ costs have gone up, pulp prices have gone up and energy prices have gone up, and the paper price increase is directly related to that. Some mills have indicated further increases to come and we will be sure to announce those nice and early to give our customers notice so they can let their clients know.”

Spicers, the second largest paper merchant, is the latest to announce a price increase on its papers and boards within its commercial print portfolio. The company says manufacturers globally continue to raise their prices on products.

[Related: Spicers gets $30m refinancing]

The new pricing comes into effect February 1. Coated, uncoated, digital and carbonless grades will increase by eight per cent and all other grades will increase by six per cent.

David Martin, CEO of Spicers says, “It has always been Spicers policy to mitigate the severity of any price rise where possible, however a significant number of paper mills have now implemented more than one increase over the past six months, and we are also keeping an eye on movements into the new year. We truly appreciate our customers’ ongoing support”.

The company raised its prices earlier this year in both April and July. It also just entered into an agreement for Scottish Pacific Business Finance to provide a receivables backed financing facility providing up to $30m over two years with covenant-free terms.

Ball & Doggett similarly have announced a price increase for the new year, also in February.  Its prices will be up from 6-10 per cent across paper and board. Specialty papers, cutsize copy papers, synthetic sheets and reels, self-adhesive sheets and reels, self-adhesive sheets and rigid media will be at the lower end with increases of around six per cent, while packaging boards may rise up by nine per cent and industrial packaging grades of between five and ten per cent.


Direct Paper will also push through a price rise around the same time, between 6-8 per cent. Their rise will be across the range including coated paper, uncoated paper, specialty papers, packaging boards, tissue papers and self-adhesive paper. 

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