Taiwan braces for pulp price rises

Taiwan braces for pulp price rises
Pulp price rises hit Taiwan toilet paper, forcing locals to stock up

Anticipated price rises in toilet and tissue paper in Taiwan have prompted locals to stock up on supplies. The manufacturers say that increases in pulp prices, transportation, and packaging costs have made price rises necessary.


Taiwan's cabinet, the Executive Yuan, has vowed to act if it finds local toilet paper vendors have colluded to raise prices without good reason.


In a statement released on Friday, the Executive Yuan said the government's price stabilisation task force under the Cabinet has asked the Fair Trade Commission (FTC), the Ministry of Economic Affairs (MOEA) and the Consumer Protection Committee to look into an announcement made by toilet paper brands earlier in the day that they intend to raise prices.


Retailers in Taiwan, including large-sized hypermarket operators, said they have been informed by toilet paper suppliers that product prices will rise by 10-30 percent, starting from mid-March at the earliest due to a spike in pulp prices in the international market.

 

The FTC said it will take a close look at whether these toilet paper suppliers have been involved in a price collusion, which could undermine market order. If so, the commission will take any necessary action to maintain market order and protect consumers' interests, it said.


The FTC says that based on the local fair trade act, violators are expected to face punishment.


MOEA says some tissue paper vendors raised their product prices by 5-8 percent last year in reflection of more expensive pulp prices and other brands announced they would follow suit this year.

 

“Short fiber pulp used for production of tissue paper rose to US$800 per ton on average as of February from US$650 seen a year earlier due to an imbalance in supply and demand.”


After the price adjustments, consumers are expected to have to pay NT$260 for every 12 pack of inter-fold toilet paper or tissue in one package, up from the current NT$200.


YFY Inc, one of the largest tissue paper suppliers in Taiwan, says prices of pulp, which accounts for a majority of production costs, have risen by more than 50 percent since mid-2017, and keep rising.


“Even worse is that transportation and packaging costs have also been increasing, so YFY has no choice but to raise product prices.”

 

In Taiwan, toilet paper come in packs, not rolls, and are also used as tissue.

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