05Jan

Hansol, a key importer of thermal paper into the US from S. Korea, has announced a 10%-15% increase on thermal paper effective January 1, 2021, according the RISI.

Torraspapel (Lecta) announced an increase of 5% effective January 4, 2021.

Time will tell if/when other mills follow this announcement. Hansol announced a 10% increase in February, 2020 only to rescind it shortly after, when the competition did not follow their lead.

An announcement like this can make an Economic Professor scratch their head in wonder. Normally, the supply and demand model is pretty black and white. However, that is not the case today. POS paper demand is near and all time low, due to Covid-19. POS paper supply is at a near all time high, due to global availability. These too key factors would indicate a steady supply of low cost paper into the US.

Another potential factor in this announcement is the pending FTC (Federal Trade Commission) anti-dumping case that was filed by the US Thermal Coater, Domtar.

Is it possible that some Mills are looking to show “Good Faith” towards pricing by making this announcement ahead of the FTC investigation or is the marketplace truly in need of a price increase?

Will the other manufacturers of Thermal Paper follow? One thing is certain, they are all watching this announcement very carefully and will probably be making statements in the coming weeks.

Editorial Comments supplied by Brandon Kent, Vice President, Telemark Diversified Graphics bkent@telemarkcorp.com

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