PAPER PRICING: Pulp Nonfiction
A few significant trends have been apparent recently.
Coated paper prices are falling. Coated freesheet paper prices are down seven percent compared to a year ago, and coated groundwood prices are down six percent in the same period, according to Jack Miller, a paper industry consultant and regular contributor to Printing Impressions magazine, quoting figures from forest products industry association RISI Inc. This is due to falling demand for coated paper (in publishing and other industries), and is also affected by mill operating rates (calculated as a percentage of what mills are actually producing compared to output capacity). Operating rates for coated free sheet, for instance, are at 90 percent, up slightly from last year, Miller says; this change is influenced both by the volume of imports (decreasing of late) and the elimination of some overall production capacity.