At first, paper “only” became more expensive, now in some places it is even in short supply. As if the pandemic and the reintroduction of the obligation to file for insolvency hadn’t already hurt the printing industry and its companies enough. Now there’s the paper shortage. The quarterly Zipcon Online print Price Index (ZOPI) shows whether and to what extent the battle for paper has affected the pricing of online print shops. The data basis is a shopping cart of the leading companies. The figures are collected weekly, enabling the ZOPI to reflect pricing in the printing industry.
As far as insolvencies are concerned, it is still not possible to draw a clear picture. For 2021, industry experts expect 104 insolvencies in the printing industry – but in the end, these can certainly not all be attributed to Corona alone, as we have already recently stated in our management report. An interesting fact for comparison: in the crisis year 2009, there were as many as 233 insolvencies. However, these insolvencies in the past did not automatically lead to a reduction in printing capacity on the market.
The current paper shortage is a completely different issue, which could also have a direct impact on pricing in the medium and long term. Print shops that a) still have their own stock and b) are well stocked, may be able to compensate for the supply bottlenecks. However, a shortage of raw materials generally always results in a price increase. It is not yet possible to say whether this applies to the entire industry. In the latest ZOPI, however, we see striking upward trends both for the entire shopping cart and for the individual 10,000 flyers (DIN A5, printed on both sides, 4/4 color, glossy, 135g).
At Unitedprint, the price for the entire basket is up 15.46% compared to its initial price value. Considered separately for flyers, the price index has risen steadily since October 2020 and is now up 19.44% on Unitedprint’s initial value from June 2020. But there is another way: at Redprint Group, the price index for flyers only went up half a percent last month. However, it is still down 10.73 percent. Flyeralarm, on the other hand, has been constant since February 2021 at minus 11.23% compared to its entry price.
Apart from the outliers, the price index for flyers is up by an average of 1.77%. The price index for the entire basket of goods lands at an average increase of 3.07% compared to its first survey in November 2020. In comparison, the consumer price index in Germany in August 2021 was up 3.9% year-on-year.
The good news is that demand for print products is rising in some market segments. However, the current figures do not yet allow any definitive conclusions to be drawn as to whether the paper price increases that have been repeatedly announced over the past few months are already having a direct impact on the price of print products. What is clear, however, is that the trend in prices is upwards and some suppliers will most likely take advantage of the current business climate and the pre-Christmas period to push through higher prices themselves.