(CNN) – Just when you thought you were on the loose to stock up on toilet paper again, wood pulp, the main raw material used to make it, is getting more and more expensive.
“We have never seen such monthly price increases in the history of the company,” said Brian McClay, a pulp industry analyst. “This is unheard of.”
Market pulp prices rose from $ 606 per metric tonne in September to over $ 907 per metric tonne in April, McClay said.
A combination of factors drove prices up, including a post-Covid recovery in China, the world’s largest buyer of pulp, and shipping delays around the world, he said.
Manufacturers of consumer products buy pulp on the open market and then use it to make toilet paper and other paper products. About 70% of the pulp that U.S. manufacturers buy for toilet paper comes from Brazil, McClay said, followed by about 30% from Canada.
Pulp is just the latest example of a raw material shortage hitting the US economy as it recovers from shutdowns that have disrupted supply chains and changed consumer behavior. Wood, steel, computer chips, chlorine, and even human labor are hard to come by.
Consumer Brands Association, the trade group of manufacturers of consumer packaged products, said in a blog post Thursday that rising pulp prices were impacting the costs of producing toilet paper.
The prices of toilet paper for consumers have increased during the pandemic, and one of the leading manufacturers of toilet paper has said it is increasing the prices it charges retailers for Scott in part because of the higher costs of the dough.
Toilet paper prices were up 15.6% in the 52 weeks ending May 1 from a year earlier, according to the latest figures from NielsenIQ, which tracks data from retail outlets.
Kimberly Clark, the maker of Scott toilet tissue, plans to increase retail prices for Scott and its other brands by mid-to-high single-digit percentages next month. The increases “are necessary to help offset significant inflation in commodity prices,” Kimberly-Clark said.
“The selling prices of tissue paper products are influenced, in part, by the market price of pulp,” the company said in its latest securities filing.
This story first appeared on CNN.com “Rising wood prices make your toilet paper more expensive“.