Trying to decipher paper pricing trends is like scrutinizing snowflakes—the closer you get, the more complex they seem. Still, there are a few key factors when considering the current economics of the paper business, which has been subject to unprecedented forces during and in the wake of the recent recession.
Longfellow’s celebration of the forest primeval finds its echo today in the green revolution taking place along the supply chain of the paper industry. Although—as I learned from interviewing people who prefer not be quoted on the subject—good intentions are ahead of actual practice, it is a harbinger nonetheless of the revolutionary transformations taking place in the paper industry’s business practices. Which brings me to the subject of this column: a snapshot of the globally transforming paper industry, the state of book-paper supply, and how the present outlook shapes your paper usage and purchasing strategies. As long as print products are foundational to the