“We have decided to raise paper prices across all varieties between five and eight per cent from September 1, partly because of a spurt in wood prices from local sources. Also, import of pulp has become costlier because of a drastic depreciation in the rupee. Therefore, we will pass on this cost push to consumers,” said Yogesh Aggarwal, managing director and chief executive, Ballarpur Industries.
Prices of wood from domestic sources have risen 10-15 per cent. Despite little movement in pulp prices in global markets, its import cost has increased in proportion to the rupee's depreciation. In July, the average price of pulp remained unchanged at $832.02, after a 1.84 per cent rise in June, according to indexmundi.com.
After hitting an all-time low of 68.8 against the dollar on Wednesday, the rupee ended at 65.7 on Friday, a fall of 10.38 per cent since July 1.
“There is a cost push that has to be passed on to consumers. Therefore, we will also raise paper prices from the first of next month,” said a Tamil Nadu Newsprint and Papers official.
So far, prices of coated paper haven't been increased. But considering the rise in raw material costs, a rise in coated paper prices looked imminent, said a senior JK Paper official.
In India, about 40 per cent of coated paper volumes are imported. Average annual imports stand at 5,50,000-6,00,000 tonnes. “The cost impact on coated paper is slightly more than on copier paper. Some more price increase is likely in the coated paper segment in the coming months. Because of severe cost pressures, packaging boards would also see a price rise in the coming few days,” said the JK Paper official.