This is a question we have, understandably, been asked to answer on many occasions since the start of 2021. With a view to keeping our customers well informed about the forces behind the price increases we have all been talking about we created this page as a resource for clients. You will find copies of our increase letters to date and links to relevant articles about the current paper shortage.
In summary demand for paper out-stripped supply in 2021, the impact the pandemic has had on e-commerce has been well documented, there is less paper in the recycling system nationally. This combination means that many corrugated producers were operating on a “by allocation” basis with a set amount of square meterage being assigned to box manufacturers based on average consumption. We have been working within this and planning our allocation carefully to ensure we can continue to service our existing client base.
The early signs in 2022 are that the supply/demand balance is moving slowly back towards more of an equilibrium, which has led to greatly improved lead times and material availability. However the energy and fuel price hikes have sadly led to a further material price increase in April 2022.
We hope you will find this brief summary and attached information useful, your account manager will of course be happy to discuss the situation further and we will continue to update this page with the latest information available to us.