Falling paper imports could lead to higher book prices

2021-03-29

Gas, food, clothing – what’s next on the list?

A decrease in imports of paper and cardboard by 14.5% caused a shortage of offset paper in Russia, which, in turn, could lead to a rise in the price of books by 10-20% in 2021, TASS reports.

Elena Shitikova, a consultant at the Union of Printing Industry Enterprises, said that the price of offset paper for Russian manufacturers has grown by 7% since the beginning of the year. This could lead to a 10% increase in book prices.

Oleg Novikov, president of the Eksmo-AST publishing group, is more pessimistic. According to his forecast, books will rise in price by 20%. Due to the shortage of paper, his publishing house had to postpone the release of a number of printed publications.

The market economy has “shrunk” paper production in Russia. Here is the list of just some of the pulp and paper mills destroyed in the “holy 1990s” and “fat 2000s” *: Astrakhan PPM; Vishersky Pulp and Paper Factory; Yenisei PPM; “Tsepruss” PPM; Kholmsk Pulp and Paper Plant and many, many others.

But our entrepreneurs are enriching themselves, exporting forest resources outside of Russia in an endless stream. For them, such a business is both easier and more profitable.

The economic crisis continues to hit the weakest. Almost everything rises in price: fuel, food, clothing. Now books. And workers’ incomes grow poorly, more often they fall. The media has not yet leaked information on the progress in fulfilling the order of President Vladimir Putin on the indexation of salaries. Indexation was supposed to be effective from February 1, 2021. Apparently, the owners of the enterprises and businesses will “wait” for now, hoping that this openly populist instruction will soon be forgotten, like many other presidential decrees.

The way things are going, in the future the only printed materials available for the poor will be free campaigning pre-election booklets. To prevent this from becoming a reality, there is no other way but to change the economic system.

* Popular memes in Russia. The first one was launched by Naina Yeltsina, the widow of the first president of Russia: she said that the 1990s, when the crime in the country was running rampant, and the former state property was privatized almost for nothing by a small group of people, should be called not “dashing” but “holy”. The 2000s are called “fat”, since it was a period of high oil prices, and there was a huge influx of money into the country – though this did not give the country much – all the money eventually ended up in the pockets of the oligarchs.