Paper and Packaging Prices Set to Climb in South Africa

Sep 26, 2022 | 0 comments

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Worldwide, paper prices have continued to rise over the past two years – and once again, paper prices are set to climb significantly in South Africa.

The price increases will have a knock-on effect on the packaging industry and its customers.

Below we talk about what to expect in coming months, and what’s been happening to paper prices over the past couple of years (and why).

Expected increase in paper prices in October 2022

The largest manufacturer of paper and plastics packaging in Southern Africa, Mpact, has warned of price increases in October 2022. The company cites “relentless cost pressures” as the cause.

Similarly, Sappi Limited (one of SA’s leading paper and pulp producers) recently referred to “…strong global paper demand and pricing momentum”. This momentum looks set to continue.

Global volatility in the paper and pulp markets

For a good three decades, paper prices remained reasonably stable.

Over the past two years, this has changed. Paper prices have continued to skyrocket.

After more than 30 years in the printing industry, one CEO of a US print company had this to say: “…we have never seen a market for raw materials (think paper) as volatile as the one we are in at this moment…”

In 2021, the price of wood pulp increased by as much as 25%. This was following a significant dip in the previous year, due to the pandemic.

So far in 2022, countries around the world have already experienced paper price increases as high as 14% – for packaging companies, “one of the largest single increases the industry has ever seen”.

Now more price increases are on the way.

What’s driving the rising cost of paper and packaging products?

Several factors are playing a role in the price increases. Below we outline a few of the main ones.

  • Increased demand

In South Africa and globally, demand for packaging and other paper-based products is continuing to increase. Forecasting increased cardboard production, the noted that this is “fueled by strong demand from online shoppers.”

  • Skyrocketing fuel costs

Spikes in oil and petrol prices have caused both sea and road freight costs to rise, adding to the costs of raw materials for packaging manufacturers.

  • Supply chain issues

Markets are still recovering from the pandemic, which resulted in shipping delays, lengthy production times on orders and backlogs. The pandemic also caused a number of paper mills across the world to close. Some mills shut temporarily, and some went out of business. This has constrained supply, while demand continues to grow.

Packaging prices at Ecobox

At Ecobox, we’ve so far managed to minimise price increases for our cardboard moving boxes and other paper-based packaging products. We’ll continue doing what we can to hold off inflation for our customers, although some increases will likely become inevitable.

Ecobox’s range of cardboard and paper-based products remain a convenient and competitively priced option for anyone who’s moving home or relocating an office.

Alternatively, opt for a paper-free (and waste-free) option! Our moving box kits, consisting of sturdy, plastic moving boxes with sealable lids, are available for rent – and they make moving easier than ever before.

Simply have a kit delivered, pack and move – and after you’ve unpacked, we’ll fetch the boxes for thorough cleaning and reuse.

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