Paper Prices on the Rise

Heightened paper demand has led at least three major North American mills to announce price hikes. Stamford, CT-based International Paper Co., Greenville, SC-based Bowater, and Wisconsin Rapids, WI-based Stora Enso North America said they plan to increase the prices of coated freesheet and coat mechanical papers by $60/ton by June 1, according to Verle Sutton, editor of Forestweb’s “Reel Time Report.”

In a speech on Wednesday to the SC Council in New York, Sutton noted that demand for supercalendared (SC) A and B papers, which are typically used for catalogs, magazines, and inserts, rose 12.8% during the first two months of this year. He attributed the tightening market to the removal of capacity by Montreal-based Abitibi-Consolidated and Bangor, ME-based Katahdin Paper Co., along with a drop off in European imports.

According to Sutton, earlier this month mills announced a $40/ton increase in SC-A prices that will likely be implemented by July 1. He expects an additional rise in SC-A and SC-B prices during the second half of the year.