No supplies for Christmas: book publishers are running out of paper

No supplies for Christmas
Book publishers are running out of paper

Books are one of the classic Christmas gifts. But this year it is unlikely that every book wish can be fulfilled. Like other raw materials, paper has become scarce. One of the largest German publishers warns of delivery bottlenecks. However, other industries are suffering even more.

After representatives from numerous other industries, one of the largest German book publishers is now warning of delivery problems in the Christmas business. The industry lacks the paper to print books. “That is a big problem,” said Jonathan Beck, head of the general publishing house at CH Beck, the “Handelsblatt”. “With many books we already know that it is no longer possible to reprint them before Christmas,” said Beck. “When the current inventory is sold, there will be supplies next year.”

With a total annual turnover of 520 million euros, CH Beck is one of the largest publishers in Germany. Beck advised looking for Christmas presents early this year: “I am very much afraid that this Christmas people cannot be sure that they will get every book at short notice.” In the medium term, the shortage of paper will also have an impact on prices, “although not as abruptly as in the case of heating oil or gas”. But “the pressure is there. Calculating a more extensive hardcover for less than 30 euros is becoming more and more difficult”.

Delivery problems in other industries are already noticeable in the retail sector. According to a survey by the Munich Ifo Institute, 74 percent of retailers complained about delivery problems in September. “Some Christmas presents may not be available or they will become expensive,” the institute concluded. The procurement problems from the industry had reached the retail sector, at the moment “not every order could be fulfilled”, explained the Ifo Institute.

According to the survey, bicycle dealers are hardest hit. According to the Ifo Institute, 100 percent of all companies surveyed reported problems with their orders in the bicycle retail sector. The after-effects of the timber price rally in the first half of the year are evident in DIY stores (98.9 percent) and furniture stores (94.5 percent).

The scarcity of chips and semiconductors means that retailers with electronic products of all kinds mean that not every product is immediately available. According to the Ifo survey, this is what 97.4 percent of consumer electronics retailers report. In the motor vehicle trade, 88.1 percent of the companies reported delivery problems – especially with electric cars. In the food retail sector, it was almost half (46.9 percent). As a result, price increases are to be expected: “The industry has announced price increases, and these are now inevitably reaching the retail sector,” explained the Munich research institute.

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