Toilet paper almost as good as gold

March 9, 2020

The video of two women fighting over toilet paper inside an Australian supermarket perhaps epitomizes the frenzy created by coronavirus fears, which has led to panic buying, empty store shelves, rationing and shortages of the hygiene tissue all over the world.

In one case, a single roll has recently garnered nearly as much as the price of an ounce of gold.

An Australian real estate agent shelled out AU$1,610 for a single roll of triple ply toilet paper during an auction at Ray White's national real estate conference to raise money for charity. That’s about US$1,064 - the price of gold currently stands at US$1,674 per ounce!

Perhaps it’s a scenario no one saw coming, but now that it’s here, tracking the paper industry has become more urgent than ever—from supply chain disruptions to sudden surges in demand. Just ask the producers of tissue paper, wipes and disposable face masks.

With Industry Intelligence’s coronavirus IMPACT report, paper companies can track how government actions, consumer behavior, health and safety breakthroughs and more are affecting their industry on a global scale.

Companies are turning this health crisis into business opportunities. Some recent news headlines from Industry Intelligence include:

Kimberly-Clark’s Millicent mill in Australia has ramped up production 24/7 to keep up with demand.  

Amid tissue shortage due to coronavirus fears, Australian newspaper NT News prints special eight-page insert that can be cut into toilet paper

Hygienic masks designed to stop the spread of illnesses like coronavirus are swelling in price online; on Amazon, one pack of disposable masks priced at US$125 on Feb. 22 surged to US$220/pack on Feb. 26

Thailand's 11 face mask producers working at full capacity amid coronavirus spread.

But not all companies in the paper and pulp sector are faring as well.

Cosmo Specialty Fibers in Washington state is cutting back spending and trying to avoid layoffs as its dissolving pulp piles up in a warehouse. Its clients – 95% of whom are in China – are not operating due to the disease, directly impacting the company’s bottom line. 

Both Paper2020 and Tissue World Miami to be held this month were cancelled and postponed, respectively, due to the travel restrictions that made it impossible for exhibitors and registrants to attend the event.  

How will your business fare during this rapidly evolving crisis?

Francisco Castro is the Paper & Hygiene Products editor for Industry Intelligence, which can help YOU better address your own industry challenges. To arm yourself with the latest market intelligence, contact or call 310-553-0008 if you’re interested in receiving or sharing the IMPACT report with colleagues or partners.

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