Mrs. C. Lock
De Malietoren P.O. Box 93002
tel. +31 70  34 90 750
faxnr. +31 70 34 90 775
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Papermerchanting in The Netherlands in 2012


Economic situation


CPB projects a budget deficit of 3.3% for 2013 and 3.4% for 2014. The reduction in the deficit is achieved through sizeable spending cuts and tax increases. The government debt is projected to continue to rise in 2014 up to 75 % of GDP also as a result of the nationalization of SNS REAAL.

Despite a slight recovery later this year, GDP volume is projected to decline in 2013 by ½%.

For 2014, an economic growth of 1% is projected.


Unemployment in 2013 will increase by 90,000 people to a total of 560,000 and in 2014 to 575,000.

Private consumption levels are expected to decline in 2013 by 1½% due to lower wage and benefit incomes and lower house prices. Real house prices have declined by 23% since 2008, and even when lower incomes and house prices are taken into account, the growth in consumption has been lagging behind since 2009. One of the possible explanations for this fact is that, since 2008, Dutch consumer confidence has declined strongly. For 2014, consumption levels are projected to increase slightly (1/4%) because of a small improvement in disposable income.



Paper Merchant Market


The  Paper merchant market had to contend with a decline in demand in 2012 - especially during the second-half of the year - against a strong downward pressure on selling prices. Volumes were down by 5% on the year in the Netherlands. From 2005 till 2012 the merchant market dropped with 30%.

Dutch merchants are Antalis, Bührmann Ubbens, Igepa and Papyrus.


Because of the decline in demand and prices the competition is fierce.

Merchants are restructuring their organization to lower costs. The number of employees decreased by nearly 25 %.


Because of the rise in input costs of paper, chemicals, labour, transport and energy costs merchants will be forced to increase prices in 2013 to survive.

Innovation and improvement of productivity is important in this economic situation

The strategy is not only directed on the declining paper market but more on profitable markets like Packaging and Sign.



Graphic Industry

The number of Printers is still going down because of bankruptcies, concentration and acquisitions.  Estimated number of printers in 2012 is 1500.

The Industry turnover declined with more than 20% in 2008-2011 and

in 2012 the decline is significant higher than in previous years, - 10%.

The perspective in 2013 are still negative.



- Fierce competition also from companies abroad.

- Overcapacity.

- Commercial printing is moving toward imaging for "an audience of one." Use of variable data and selective binding capabilities is key to mass customization of printed products.

- Short delivery times, Customers are demanding faster and shorter runs, forcing printers to find ways to increase speed while maintaining profit margins.

-Electronic prepress, finishing, binding, packaging, database management, Web page design, CD services, training, and consulting are services that provide extra value.