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May 14, 2008

Paper shortage amidst production rise

Vietnams domestic market is facing shortages of several different types of paper despite increases in imports and local production, industry insiders said.

Although prices were raised 10 to 40 per cent, shortages have still been reported on the local market, making it difficult for publishing houses and printers to purchase supplies.

However, representatives from two major paper producers, Bai Bang and Tan Mai, showed surprise when hearing about the shortages, especially for toilet and printing papers, saying that their production and distribution was still normal.

The shortage was even more irrational as imported papers in the first quarter had sharply increased as well.

General secretary of the Vietnam Paper and Pulp Paper Association, Vu Ngoc Bao, said that for printing paper alone, the total import volume in the first three months had surged up to 60 percent over the same period last year.

Meanwhile, it was also reported that demand for paper had remained normal. New publications that have emerged in the past few months have been insignificant, and most of the existing major publications have tried to save on materials.

Moreover, the demand for writing pads and notebooks was low, as these products were sought out most in July and August, and paper producers generally bought materials for the new school year in April or May.

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