The Russian government has denied the reports of some local media about the existence shortage of paper in the domestic market.
According to the Russian Ministry of Industry and Trade, interruptions in supplies of offset paper may be associated with increased seasonal demand for it and the consequences of a lockdown, which is considered as a temporary phenomenon.
As Deputy Minister of Industry and Trade Viktor Yevtukhov told in an interview with the Russian Rossiyskaya Gazeta, business paper, the production of paper dropped slightly due to a drop in demand for it during a pandemic, and a shift to distance work. However, the actual decline of production of offset paper in Russia last year was only 3%, compared to 2019. In addition, its share in the overall structure of paper, produced in the country remains small, not exceeding 4.6%.
According to Yevtukhov, now domestic publishers are preparing for their summer editions, so they need more paper for printing than usual. In addition, employees who had previously worked remotely returned to the offices. That led to the growth of the demand for offset paper in the country.
As the official has also added such type of paper is produced in Russia by large enterprises that cannot quickly increase production volumes, unlike publishers.
Viktor Yevtukhov comments:
"Interruptions in the supply of paper are a temporary phenomenon and this should not significantly affect the cost of books. And even more so it will not affect the cost of food and medicine, because it has nothing to do with them».
Thus, the rise in prices for offset paper in 2021 did not exceed the inflation rate. For example, the largest producer of offset paper in Russia "Mondi Syktyvkar LPK" raised them by 4% from March 1, as it does every year.
Earlier, some publishers reported a shortage of paper, which has been observed since February this year. For example, Eksmo-AST, Russia’s leading book publisher, has already had to postpone the release of several books because of this.
By: Eugen Gerden