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Over the last several months the paper industry has experienced a severe and impactful shift; not only in pricing but also in availability across all brands and grades. This volatility makes it essential to be proactive by preplanning projects in order to avoid the challenges of today’s market. In an effort to aid our customers, Solo Printing is offering this page as a resource tool for current information and the latest news in the paper and print-related industries.

At Solo, our mission is to provide the best quality, customer service, and competitive prices so our clients can attain the best print ROI. We remain steadfast in working closely with the paper mills and distributors in order to stay ahead of the market trends and continue to bring value to our local and national partners.

 

Quick Facts as to How We Got Here Over the Past Few Years

  • Paper manufacturing has been declining at a rate of 2-3% per year
  • The US has been in a state of overcapacity (more paper manufactured than being sold)
  • In the 4th Quarter of 2017, the following paper mills closed or re-tooled
    • Camus by Georgia Pacific (uncoated paper)
    • Appleton (coated paper)
    • West Linn (coated paper)
    • Sappi (converted a paper machine in their Somerset mill from manufacturing coated paper to packaging)
  • Over the last 12 months, 1,000,000 tons of paper in the US has come offline – that’s 50,000 truckloads no longer available
  • Since the 4th Quarter of 2017, two price increases have been announced by all paper manufacturers
  • Through the end of 2018, we can expect one or two more price increases across all grades

Below is the most up-to-date information as we receive it from the mills and distributors:

 

VERSO Announces Price Increase

September 5, 2018

Effective with all new and existing orders with confirmed delivery dates of October 5, 2018, or later, Verso Corporation is increasing the transaction price of all Coated Freesheet Sheets and Sheeter Roll grades, including but not limited to:

  • Anthem Plus® sheets/sheeter rolls
  • Blazer Digital®  sheets/sheeter rolls

The increase applies to all basis weights, bulks, finishes and related private label grades.

If you have any questions, please contact your Solo Printing representative.

 

Sappi North America Announces Price Increase

August 31, 2018

Sappi North America announces a list and transactional price increase on new and unconfirmed orders that book with confirmed delivery dates on or after Monday, October 1, 2018, on the following products.

  • Opus Folio Sheets, Digital Sheets, and Sheeter Rolls – all basis weights, all finishes
  • Flo Folio Sheets, Digital Sheets, and Sheeter Rolls – all basis weights, all finishes
  • EuroArt Folio Sheets, Digital Sheets, and Sheeter Rolls – all basis weights, all finishes

Standard differentials and upcharges apply. This price increase includes all private label programs.

If you have any questions, please contact your Solo Printing representative.

ND Paper Announcing Revision To Their Freight Charge Policy

August 7, 2018

ND Paper is announcing a revision to their freight charge policy. As a newly formed entity, they have aligned their freight policy with their current geographic manufacturing footprint. The intention of the new policy is to maintain as many destinations as full freight allowed (FFA) as practical given today’s freight market. The new policy will allow for more than 80% of the current volume shipped from ND Paper to have an FFA option. The policy provides a simple view of charges across the continental United States and Canada. Some highlights of the policy are:

  • Charges will be applied by destination state/province and mode of transportation
  • Shipments from warehouses will be charged the same as shipments from manufacturing facilities
  • Charges apply to all products from either our Biron, WI or Rumford, ME mills
  • The policy is effective for new and existing orders with confirmed delivery dates of September 4, 2018 and later

If you have any questions, please contact your Solo Printing representative.

Finch Paper LLC Announces Price Increase

August 1, 2018

Finch Paper announces effective with shipments on or after August 31, 2018, pricing will increase for Finch Opaque, Finch 94, and New Leaf Ingenuity and for all other Finch Printing, Converting, Publishing, Digital/Inkjet, Technical Specialty and Finch Office Papers. Price increases apply to all roll and sheet sizes.

If you have any questions, please contact your Solo Printing representative.

 

Resolute Forest Products Announces September 1, 2018 Price Increase

August 1, 2018

Resolute Forest Products will raise the price of its uncoated freesheet Connect grades effective with shipments on or after September 1, 2018.

This increase will apply to all basis weights, and includes all upcharges.

If you have any questions, please contact your Solo Printing representative.

 

ND Paper Announces Paper Price Increase

July 30, 2018

ND Paper announces paper price increase implementation effective for all new and existing orders with confirmed deliveries of September 1, 2018 and later for the following products:

  • Coated Free Sheet Grades
    • Orion®
  • Coated Groundwood Grades
    • Vision®
    • Escanba®
    • Dependoweb®
    • Capri®
    • Consoweb®
  • Coated One Side Grades
    • Oxford Litho C1S
    • Oxford High Bright C1S
    • Oxford Metalist C1S
    • Trident Wet Strength
  • Specialty Grades
    • Glide Graphics Release Liner Base
    • Leap (Flexible Packaging)
  • Uncoated Free Sheet Grades
    • Rumford Offset

This increase applies to all basis weights, finishes, grade extensions, and related private label products.

If you have any questions, please contact your Solo Printing representative.

 

IP Paper Announces Paper Price Increase

July 30, 2018

IP Paper announced that effective with all shipments on or after August 30, 2018, International Paper will increase prices on the following products:

  • All Williamsburg Rolls and Sheets
  • All Accent® Opaque Rolls and Sheets
  • All Springhill® Rolls and Sheets
  • All Office Paper Products

If you have any questions, please contact your Solo Printing representative.

 

Domtar Paper Announces Paper Price Increase

July 31, 2018

Domtar Paper announced a price increase for all Domtar Printing, Publishing, Converting and Business Papers products effective September 1, 2018. In addition, pricing for Domtar Bagstock, Tablet, Canary Tablet and Stick Paper will also increase.

Price increases apply to all pack types; rolls, folio, digital and cut size.

If you have any questions, please contact your Solo Printing representative.

 

Resolute Forest Products Announces Paper Price Increase

July 26, 2018

Resolute Forest Products announced that effective with shipments on or after September 1, 2018, they will raise their Coated paper prices. The products impacted by the price increase include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • ResoluteGloss
  • ResoluteBlonde
  • ResoluteBrite 76

The increase will be applicable to all basis weights and finishes, and all up charges apply.

If you have any questions, please contact your Solo Printing representative.

Verso Announces Paper Price Increase Effective Immediately

July 24, 2018

Effective immediately, and on all existing orders with confirmed delivery dates of September 1, 2018 or later, Verso Corporation is increasing the transaction price of all Coated Freeshet Web and Coated Groundwood grades, including but not limited to:

  • ArborWeb Plus
  • Sterling Ultra Web
  • Sterling Ultra TrueJet
  • Sterling Ultra caliper Web
  • Productolith Pts. Web
  • Publishers Matte
  • Publishers Thinbulk
  • ArborWeb web
  • Influence web
  • Liberty web
  • Balance web
  • New Era Mate
  • New Era ThinBulk
  • TrueJet Book

The increase applies to all basis weights, bulks, finishes and related private label grades. Should you have any questions, please contact your Solo Printing representative.

 

SAPPI Announces Paper Increase Effective July 23rd

July 20, 2018

Sappi North America announces a transactional price increase on new and unconfirmed orders that book with confirmed delivery dates on or after Monday, July 23, 2018 on the following products:

  • McCoy Web
  • Opus Web
  • Somerset Web
  • Flo Web
  • Galerie Web

Standard deferential and upcharges apply. This price increase includes all private label programs.

If you have any questions, please contact your Solo Printing representative.

 

Moratorium set on CFS orders by Sappi; Verso plans more conversions

OAKLAND, CA, July 20, 2018

Continuing tight supply and strong demand for coated freesheet (CFS) today resulted in an official suspension of orders by the second largest CFS producer in the USA, Sappi. In a July 20 letter the firm told customers that effective immediately it is imposing a temporary order moratorium on all 40-lb to 90-lb web of its Somerset and Flo web products.

“Any unconfirmed orders in our system and any inquiries will be held for review and we will remove the moratorium when we will determine which orders and inquiries we can confirm,” the letter said.

“This is a short-term measure designed to secure Sappi’s production capacity for the protection of Sappi’s existing customers.”

Sources say there have been numerous instances in recent weeks of mills adopting unofficial allocations, but this is the first official customer notice of such a policy.

The supply tightness is driven by ongoing machine closures and conversions to other grades by graphic papermakers seeking to shift capacity out of declining markets.

Earlier this week, the largest CFS maker in the US by capacity, Verso, announced “strategic investments” at its 260,000 tons/yr Androscoggin mill in Jay, ME, to increase release liner paper capacity for pressure-sensitive material (PCM) markets at the expense of existing freesheet production.

The investments involve technology upgrades over the next 18 months on the mill’s 215,000 tons/yr No. 4 paper machine, which according to RISI Mill Intelligence, now makes a range of specialty, and coated and uncoated freesheet grades.

This spending will “better position Verso to meet the growing needs of pressure-sensitive laminators worldwide,” the firm said in a July 18 release. It will be spread across two project phases that include technology upgrades in pulping and refining systems, stock flow piping, and paper winding capabilities.

The first project phase is scheduled for completion in the third quarter of this year, with completion of the second project phase expected in 2019.

“The Androscoggin Mill and its No. 4 paper machine have a rich history of manufacturing specialty products,” said Verso’s graphic papers pres Mike Weinhold. “When enhanced with these technology upgrades, the No. 4 paper machine’s six-meter width, technical capabilities and fully integrated pulp platform will be particularly well suited to support the growing release liner market.”

A ‘significant’ investment. Verso’s announcement did not put a dollar value on these projects, but sources said it was safe to assume they represented a “significant” investment.

Androscoggin’s No. 5 machine already makes 46,000 tons/yr of bleached and unbleached specialty paper grades, mainly for food markets, while its 200,000 tons/yr No. 3 PM ‒ which Verso idled in January last year in response to declining customer demand for coated papers ‒ will soon restart as a lightweight 16- to 35-lb virgin kraft linerboard machine. Work on that $17 million conversion began in the second quarter and should be completed in the third.

When all these projects are completed, 100% of the Androscoggin mill’s 460,000 tons of production will be dedicated to specialty paper and packaging markets.

In an earnings call in May, Verso CEO Christopher Di Santis said the firm’s specialty business grew 10% in the first quarter year-over-year and accounted for 24% of its total revenue – the highest level ever.

“The specialty markets are doing very well ‒ they’re benefiting from general continued growth in US manufacturing and spending,” he said. “The dramatic trends that you’re seeing in e-commerce help our specialty business, particularly when it comes to things like flexible packaging, label papers, that sort of thing.”

Di Santis said Verso is also evaluating other mills and other machines for additional investment in “transformative-type projects,” and said the success of the No. 3 project would be “critical input.”

That evaluation includes Verso’s 245,000 tons/yr supercalendered paper (SC) mill at Duluth, MN, the last remaining SC mill in the USA, which the firm has been considering for conversion to recycled containerboard and brown bag paper. On July 5, the US Dept of Commerce issued a revocation notice for countervailing duties (CVD) that had been in place on SC shipments from Canada since August 2015 (P&PW, July 13, p. 8). Perhaps significantly, the notice stated that Verso had “no interest” in maintaining the CVD.

Ongoing demand drop. The 3-5% annual demand drop for traditional printing and writing papers and recent growth in demand for specialties have incentivized other papermakers to explore expansion in specialty markets.

Most recently, Kruger said it will start making supercalendered kraft paper (SCK) and coated one-sided (C1S) paper at its Brompton mill in Quebec this month for the manufacture of lightweight packaging and labeling products, as well as food packaging. The SCK and C1S are both prominent grades for the US’s about 600,000 tons/yr market for labels (July 13, p. 9).

But while some graphic papermakers regard specialties segments as a safe haven, they can also be turbulent. For example, the market for thermal point-of-sale (POS) receipt papers has been hit hard in recent months by rapid price rises caused by escalating input costs and a shortage of chemicals used in their production, such as leuco dye.

The biggest producer of leuco dye, the Chameleon factory in China’s in Lianyungang city, Jiangsu province, closed because of environmental concerns last year, and sources say despite an unsuccessful attempt to restart it in April, the plant remains at a standstill with no timetable for a return to production.

Catalyst is rebranding its coated paper lineup following the $175 million sale of its two integrated paper mills and the brands made at Rumford, ME, and Biron, WI, to Nine Dragons Paper. What was formerly Catalyst’s No. 3 Vision brand is renamed Advance; its No. 4 Escanaba and Dependoweb brands become Ascent and Pacificote, respectively; its No. 4.5 Capri brand becomes Electracote Brite; and the brand name for its No. 5 Consoweb (+Consoweb HB) product becomes Electracote.

 

Catalyst Announces Paper Price Increase

June 13, 2018

Catalyst Paper announced that effective with shipments July 15, 218, the US transaction price for the following grades will be increasing for new and existing orders.

  • Catalyst Brand
    • Electrabrite
    • Electrabrite Book
    • Electrastar

This increase applies to all basis weights, finishes and brightness.

If you have any questions, please contact your Solo Printing representative.

 

Verso Announce Discontinuing Production of Focus Grade Paper

June 1, 2018

Verso has announced they will be discontinuing the production of their Focus grade as of July 31, 2018. Current inventory will be available for sale until it is extinguished.

Influence offering will continue to be Verso’s flagship brand for the No. 3 coated freesheet web market. The elimination of the Focus grade will allow for expanded production of Influence Gloss, Soft-Gloss, Matte, and Gravure.

Please contact your Solo Printing representative if you have any questions.

 

Verso Web Paper Price Increase

May 16, 2018

Effective with all new and existing orders with confirmed delivery dates of July 1, 2018 or later, Verso Corporation is increasing the transaction price of all Coated Freesheet Web and Coated Groundwood Web grades including but not limited to:

  • Coated Free Sheets
    • ArborWeb Plus web
    • Sterling Ultra web
    • Sterling Ultra caliper web
    • Productolith Pts. Web
    • Publishers Matte
    • Publishers ThinBulk
    • ArborWeb web
    • Influence web
    • Focus web
  • Coated Groundwood Web
    • Liberty web
    • Balance web
    • New Era Matte
    • New Era ThinBulk

The increase applies to all basis weights, bulks, finishes and related private label grades.

 

SAPPI Web Paper Price Increase

May 11, 2018

Sappi North America Announces a transactional Price Increase on new and unconfirmed orders that book with confirmed delivery dates on or after Monday, May 14th, 2018 on the following products:

  • McCoy Web
  • Opus Web
  • Somerset Web
  • Flo Web
  • Galerie Web

The price increase includes all basis weights and finishes and all private label programs.

 

CNBC Releases Report On Truck Drivers in US

May 2018

CNBC released this report: the US needs an additional 50,000 truck drivers to avoid an increase in shipping costs.
Read More – The U.S. Needs More Truckers

 

SAPPI Announces Paper Price Increase

March 2018

Sappi North America announces a transactional price increase on new and unconfirmed orders that book with confirmed delivery dates on or after Monday, April 16, 2018 on the following products:

  • A 4% – 5% increase across all basis weights and finishes
  • Opus Folio Sheets, Digital Sheets and Sheeter Rolls
  • Flo Folio Sheets, Digital Sheets and Sheeter Rolls
  • EuroArt Folio Sheets, Digital Sheets and Sheeter Rolls

 

Paper Market Trends

February 2018

We have seen a number of price increases for all paper grades starting July 2017and the trend has continued in 2018.

  • 40% of capacity is out since 2000.
  • In the last 8 years, 1,240,000 tons have been removed from the paper industry
  • In 2017 alone, 655,000 tons were removed because of Appleton and West Linn.
  • Of the Top 5 remaining producers, only 2 are domestic (Sappi and Verso)
  • Pulp is up $11/cwt since December 2016.
  • Mills that do not produce pulp were Appleton and West Linn

 

SAPPI Paper Price Increase

January 31, 2018

Effective on the first of this month, Sappi North America began a price increase on all orders booked with a delivery date on or after February 5, 2018.
This 4%-7% transactional price increase is relevant to the following products:

  • McCoy Web
  • Opus Web
  • Somerset Web
  • Flo Web
  • Galerie Web

 

Coated Stocks Resolute Price Increase

January 31, 2018

Effective March 1st, Resolute Forest Products will raise its ResoluteGloss, ResoluteBlonde, and ResoluteBrite 76 papers by $40 US/st.

 

Catalyst Paper Price Increase

January 31, 2018

Beginning on February 1, 2018, the transaction price for several grades of Catalyst paper will be increasing by $2.00/cwt.

  • The Coated Freesheet Grades increasing include
    • Orion
    • Vision
  • Coated Groundwood Grades include
    • Escanaba
    • Dependoweb
    • Capri
    • Consoweb

 

Verso Web Paper Price Increase

January 30, 2018

Verso Corp announced that effective with all new and existing orders with confirmed delivery dates after March 1, 2018, or later, they will be increasing the transaction price of all Coated Freesheet Web and Coated Groundwood Web grades, including but not limited to:

  • Coated Free Sheets
    • ArborWeb Plus web
    • Sterling Ultra web
    • Sterling Ultra TrueJet web
    • Publishers Matte
    • Publishers ThinBulk
    • ArborWeb web
    • Influence web
    • Focus web
  • Coated Groundwood Web
    • Liberty web
    • Balance web
    • TrueJet Book web
    • New Era Matte
    • New Era ThinBulk

This increase will apply to all basis weights, bulks, finishes, and related private label grades.

If you have any questions, please contact your Solo Printing representative.

 

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