Prices for market pulp have jumped from $606 per metric ton in September to more than $907 per metric ton in April, McClay said.
A combination of factors has driven prices higher, including a post-Covid recovery in China, the biggest buyer of pulp in the world, and global shipping delays, he said.
Consumer manufacturers purchase pulp on the open market and then use it to make toilet paper and other tissue products. Around 70% of the pulp that US consumer manufacturers buy for toilet paper comes from Brazil, McClay said, followed by around 30% from Canada.
Toilet paper prices for consumers have increased during the pandemic, and one leading toilet paper manufacturer said it’s raising the prices it charges retailers for Scott in part because of higher pulp costs.
Toilet paper prices increased 15.6% during the 52 weeks ending May 1 compared to the year prior, according to the latest numbers from NielsenIQ, which tracks point of sale data from retailers.
“Selling prices of tissue products are influenced, in part, by the market price for pulp,” the company said in its latest securities’ filing.