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Sunday, May 12, 2002

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Hind Paper hikes prices by Rs 500

Badal Sanyal

KOLKATA, May 11

THE state-owned Hindustan Paper Corporation (HPC) has taken the risk of revising its writing and printing paper prices twice within a month.

The second revision aims at increasing prices with immediate effect by on an average Rs 500 per tonne of all varieties of "cream wove'' paper as against an average hike of Rs 600 per tonne a month ago. The revision of prices by HPC for the second time within a month seems to be having an impact on other large and medium paper mills, in that they are following suit. Incidentally, the executive council of Indian Paper Manufacturers Association (IPMA), which looks after the interest of large paper mills, is scheduled to meet here next week to take stock of the domestic paper market situation and also to ascertain the scope of revision of paper prices by other integrated paper mills for the second time.

Paper trade sources have a strong feeling that almost all domestic paper mills may resort to a substantial revision of prices soon, taking advantage of the tight supply situation, coupled with the firming up of prices of pulp and paper in the international market.

An IPMA source indicated that the inventories that were lying with many domestic paper mills a couple of months ago, had been exhausted following an incremental demand for cream wove paper by publishers and the educational sector during the current academic session. Both paper industry and trade sources, however, are shy to predict the emerging domestic paper market scenario because they are not sure whether the prevailing prices of paper and paperboard within the country and abroad are actually due to shortfall in overall production or due to renewed buying support by some recession-hit industries.

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