BPIF says passing paper price rises on to customers is 'impossible'

By Helen Morris, Tuesday 16 March 2010

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The BPIF has hit out at plans by merchants to increase the price of paper by 8%-12% and demanded that the rises be better justified.


Paper: price rises expected

Printers are facing double-digit rises after merchants announced plans to put up prices in April following increases by several paper manufacturers.

BPIF chief executive Michael Johnson expressed dismay at the proposed increases and has asked for an urgent meeting with the National Association of Paper Merchants (NAPM).

He said: "Although we appreciate that manufacturers are facing increases in raw material and production costs, our members will find it well-nigh impossible to pass these increases on to customers in the present climate. Demand remains depressed and the level of trading in our industry is still well below pre-recession levels."

He added that with margins slashed, many companies would "surely fail" as a consequence of accepting the price rises from the paper manufacturers.

"The NAPM and its members will need to do some convincing to justify increases of this order," he added.

However, NAPM director Tim Bowler said that prices had not substantially moved on in seven years.

The trade association’s figures show indexed overall prices from January 2003 to January 2010, which reveal that paper prices were up 2.4% this January compared with January 2003.

"Merchants had a record year from bad debts from failed printers of nearly £18m," Bowler said.

Print companies have been warned that, although not all increases have been confirmed, most merchants will make increases in the region of 8%-12% from 6 April.

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