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Printing Papers Get Squeezed Out – February 2022 M&A Activity

Printing Papers Get Squeezed Out – February 2022 M&A Activity

A refrain is now heard throughout the printing industry; paper supplies are very tight, allocations limit the ability to take on new customers, discounts and rebates are a thing of the past, shipments are delayed until price increases take effect, and printing and packaging companies increase paper inventories at every opportunity. The supply and demand curves have crossed, and the mills are in charge.

There are several reasons pricing leverage has shifted to the mills, including a labor strike at Finnish papermaker UPM, Covid-related supply chain disruptions, shortages of drivers, all in addition to the numerous closures of paper mills over the past several years.

The Finns will eventually go back to work, shipping containers will get sorted out, truck drivers will be hired, and pricing will eventually settle down. However, one trend that is not likely to reverse is the conversion of papermaking machines from printing paper grades to packaging grades.


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