Verso Paper Increases Prices Again

Verso Paper has announced an additional increase of either $2/cwt ($40/short ton) or $3/cwt ($60/short ton), depending on the brand. The new increases are effective immediately, and are for all orders scheduled to ship on or after June 1.

According to a letter to customers, the price increases affect all coated freesheet, coated groundwood, supercalendered and uncoated printing paper grades. The letter from Michael A. Weinhold, Verso’s senior vice president of sales and marketing, is dated April 29.

Some industry experts predicted paper prices would pick up in the second and third quarters. But while no mailer likes any type of price increase, this one is particularly unwelcome, says Dan Walsh, vice president of catalog/publication papers at distributor Bradner Smith & Co.

For one thing, it comes on the heels of Verso’s $1.50/cwt ($30/short ton) increase on April 1, Walsh says. Also, it’s effective immediately and includes shipments on or after June 1, “instead of the much more typical July 1,” he notes.

That means catalogers could easily have an order in the system with Verso with a June 10 ship date, and that order will get the price increase as well, Walsh says.