Paper prices rising sharply in the UK
Following the decline in paper prices from a peak in February 2019, the monthly output price of paper and paper products in the United Kingdom has again started to rise sharply as demand increases.
Prices started to rise steadily in July 2016 and continued to rise almost uninterrupted until reaching a peak in 2019, nearly 10% higher than the index base price set in 2015. From the February 2019 peak, prices then slipped back almost 5% by August 2020 before starting its steep rise in January 2021, taking it to almost the exact price of February 2019 and the highest since before the pandemic started.
The United Kingdom is one of the world’s largest consumers of paper and paperboard by volume, consuming 8.3 million metric tons of paper and paperboard in 2018, and only slightly less than the 8.7 million metric tons used in France. Understandably, due to its size, China consumes more paper and paperboard than any other country, using over 110 million metric tons of paper and paperboard in 2018, compared with the 70.7 million metric tons consumed by the United States in 2018, the next highest nation by consumption of paper and paperboard.
The rise in the monthly output price of paper and paper products in the United Kingdom has been attributed to the growth in the economy following the pandemic and strong demand from the major paper using industries such as paper roll manufacturers and manufacturers of transport tickets.
The paper manufacturing industry is an important contributor to the United Kingdom’s economy. In 2016, the paper manufacturing industry generated a turnover of approximately 15.8 billion euros. In 2016, 56,640 people were employed in the paper manufacturing industry, with personnel costs reaching 2.4 billion GBP in 2016.
Despite the sudden rise in material costs, our customers here at BPC(UK) can be reassured that, as always, we will be doing all we can to remain extremely competitive on all our paper products.