Intergraf says that its members face rising paper costs and huge uncertainty about the supply of paper.
In view of the current scarce supply of printing and writing paper, Intergraf, the umbrella association of the European printing industry, warns about serious consequences for its industry. In a public declaration, the association has turned to paper producers, demanding a transparent dialogue and cooperation in graphic paper supply in Europe. Intergraf appeals to national and international authorities and institutions to acknowledge that the current situation is serious and to ensure the secure supply of raw materials (primary and secondary fibres) for the production of paper.
Intergraf says that its members face rising paper costs and huge uncertainty about the supply of paper. At present, the situation is still aggravated considerably by the strike in Finland, which especially burdens the supply situation of LWC and MWC paper. Intergraf estimates that in some European countries, around 50 per cent of these grades are produced by a single manufacturer. With regard to many printing and writing papers, the supply situation is tightening at present, and stocks of many association members will not last until the end of the strike. This threatens to force publishers to abandon print editions. Intergraf explains that the acute lack of paper mainly concerns newspapers, magazines, books and advertising.
In its appeal Intergraf refers to numerous printers that fear that around 40 per cent of the paper needed can no longer be obtained from mid-February. However, the resulting threatening cancellation of print runs will not only concern printed consumer goods but in part also food and medical supplies. Comments by individual printing companies not only reveal how difficult it increasingly is to obtain enough paper but also give reason to worry about the possibility that print customers could switch to digital media, which could, in the worst case, be a definite decision, they fear.
Intergraf is the umbrella association of 20 member associations from 19 countries and five associated members from four countries. It puts the number of printing companies in Europe at around 112,000, around 95 per cent of which are small- or medium-sized printers. They employ 640,000 people altogether, whose total annual sales revenues sum up to €82bn.
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