Commentary: A Shortage of Coated Paper? You’ve Got to Be Kidding!

Why are paper companies suddenly announcing price increases for coated paper, and why is the biggest printer in the United States worried about possible paper shortages?

SAPPI surprised nearly everyone late last week by announcing a $40/ton price increase on coated freesheet (CFS) in the United States. Then Verso delivered an even bigger shock this week with $40 hike not only on CFS but also on coated groundwood (CGW), which is in even greater oversupply than CFS.

Let’s look at the rather cryptic statement from a recent R.R. Donnelley filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

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