21 April 2010 | Nick Martindale
Buyers of paper and packaging could face a price hike from suppliers after pulp reached a 15-year high earlier this week.
The earthquake in February in Chile – producer of 7.4 per cent of the world’s pulp – has affected supply while increased demand from China is also driving prices up.
Last month’s strike by Finnish dockworkers and a planned strike by pulp and paper staff in Sweden have also contributed.
The price of pulp is now over $900 a tonne – some 60 per cent higher than it was 12 months ago – and not far short of the record high of $1,000 in 1995.
Paper manufacturers that make their own pulp were likely to be shielded from the worst effects of the price rise, said analysts, and newsprint was also unlikely to be affected due to continued low demand during the downturn.