New Trends Emerge as Publishers Aim to Curb Costs
The paper market may seem dull to a publishing-industry outsider, but its constant changes keep the publishing industry on its toes. Right now, in particular, there are some major trends going on in the book paper market, according to a number of experts. Usage patterns are changing, costs are fluctuating and paper itself is undergoing some significant transformations.
Garry Zampini, vice president of sales and marketing for Cascades Fine Papers Group, summarizes the changes he sees in the marketplace:
• A greater use of high-bright mechanical pulp grades;
• A greater interest in recycled grades and products certified by the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC);
• More intense efforts to reduce costs;
• More books being printed in Asia (China);
• Globalization of paper purchasing; and
• Smaller run sizes for the average book.
Earlier this year, the "New Commodity, Exchange Rate and EPS Forecasts" report by investment bank CIBC World Markets, suggested that "super high-bright paper (i.e., a newer type of uncoated groundwood paper) is making meaningful inroads in serving the book and miscellaneous commercial printer market …"
According to Mike Spath, director of sales publishing papers for Weyerhaeuser, an international forest products company, the increased use of high-bright groundwood paper is a "major development."
Adding to the trend, in early August, International Paper (IP) made some waves in the industry by announcing that it has developed technology to improve the whiteness and brightness of its grades. The technology increases the brightness of IP's standard papers from 84 on the GE scale to 92, according to the company. The whiteness will increase to CIE levels of 135 and 145 with a uniformity of color unprecedented in commodity papers, according to IP. The company announced that it is making product enhancements to its Accent Opaque, DataSpeed, Hammermill, Postmark and Williamsburg brands.