Nicolas Carreau 10:30 a.m., January 24, 2022

While the book market grew by 19% last year, the book sector is unable to produce enough books for lack of paper.

A shortage linked to the health crisis, the rise in energy prices but also the predominant place of cardboard in the paper industry.

It's a headache for the publishing industry.

Book sales exploded last year with a 19% increase.

The bad news is that the industry is running out of paper to make the books.

The shortage, linked to the health crisis, is lasting and its effects are beginning to be felt on bookstore shelves.


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Professionals in the publishing sector are experiencing supply difficulties.

Price increases can reach 50%.

Whose fault is it ?

Transport, first of all, which has been very disrupted by the pandemic.

The wood that must be transformed into pulp arrives more slowly at its destination.

Priority given to cardboard

The other factor explaining the shortage is the rise in energy prices.

Paper pulp is essentially composed of water and requires drying which is very energy-intensive.

In addition, publishing represents only 5% of the use of paper pulp and it is not the priority sector, unlike cardboard which is on the rise thanks to home deliveries and the fall in the use of to plastic packaging.

The production of cardboard is therefore at the expense of paper and books.