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Toilet paper prices have doubled

Gregor Andreas Geiger gives the all-clear.

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Toilet paper prices have doubled

Gregor Andreas Geiger gives the all-clear. "The security of supply with toilet paper is guaranteed," assures the managing director of the industry association Die Papierindustrie. The fact that such a statement is necessary at all is due to the effects of the energy crisis, coupled with the fears and experiences of consumers from the Corona period.

At that time there were empty toilet paper shelves in supermarkets, discounters and drugstore chains after hamster purchases. And most recently, the industry was worried about a gas shortage. In the fall, she had warned of supply bottlenecks. Because the production of so-called sanitary paper requires a lot of energy, above all gas.

Because the fears of delivery failures over the winter have not been confirmed, the manufacturers are now relaxed. "The issue is over," says association representative Geiger. Nevertheless, consumers have to pay significantly more for their toilet paper, of which every German citizen uses an average of 46 rolls a year. The prices have risen noticeably in the double-digit percentage range.

But the paper industry has also managed to pass on the sharply increased costs for energy, raw materials and logistics to its customers for other products. This shows the current annual balance sheet. According to this, the turnover of the domestic manufacturers with paper and pulp totaled a good 21.2 billion euros, which is 36.3 percent more than in the previous year - and that, although the production volume of the almost 100 companies in view of the economic crisis and inflation by 6, 5 percent to 21.6 million tons.

By far the largest business area in the industry is the packaging sector, which accounts for more than half of the production volumes of paper, cardboard and cardboard at around 12.7 million tons. Especially since the 1990s, with the exception of 2022, there has been constant growth there, partly due to online trading.

The second largest area with six million tons is so-called graphic paper, which is used for newspapers, books, advertising flyers or in offices as printing and copying paper. Here the development is the opposite of packaging: the segment has been shrinking for years because people read fewer newspapers and magazines and the trend towards digitization is reducing the number of printed matter in companies.

The other two main types of paper follow in equal footing, each with a production volume of almost 1.5 million tons: hygiene paper such as toilet rolls, handkerchiefs, towels and kitchen rolls and so-called paper and cardboard for technical and special purposes. These special papers include banknote and check paper, artist paper and decorative paper for the furniture industry.

In order to be able to secure production in Germany in the long term, the industry is calling for better framework conditions. "We continue to work intensively on the paper industry of the future," says Association President Winfried Schaur, referring, among other things, to the member company Essity, which was the first in Germany to produce paper CO2-free at its plant in Mainz, thanks to electrification and green hydrogen. However, this requires a competitive industrial electricity price.

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