Paper and Packaging Prices on the Rise Courtesy John Moore/Getty Images

Paper and Packaging Prices on the Rise

Paper and packaging prices are on the rise, affecting buyers in various markets, according to a new report from IBISWorld. From now through 2017, the global price of wood pulp is expected to rise at an annualized rate of 1%, and the price of paper is predicted to increase at an annualized rate of 2.1%, the group says, advising buyers to sharpen their focus on searching for the best price.

Markets affected by the price increases include corrugated boxes (estimated to rise at 3% annually until 2017), molded fiber packaging (rising annually at 4.2%), and packaging services (rising annually at 2.5%). IBISWorld points to changing consumer buying habits despite today’s shift from a pen and paper to an online world.

Consumer shopping trends are driving the demand for shipping materials and services, the report says, causing suppliers’ input costs to go up. What’s more, wood pulp prices will continue to rise along with increasing construction and industrial activity. Additionally, in the next three years, the per capita disposable income is expected to increase at an annualized 2.4%, increasing the demand for packing materials due to consumer buying trends.

Corrugated boxes are used for packaging for shipping and storing consumer goods and industrial tools and equipment. The rising price of paper will in turn force operators to increase box price in order to maintain profit margins. This poses a problem for buyers since substitutes for these boxes are limited. IBISWorld suggests taking advantage of low market specialization and low cost to change vendors—buyers can leverage the large amount of suppliers to encourage price competition.  

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