Newsprint Deficit

April 25, 1956

Report Outline
Persistence of Supply and Price Problems
Roots of Chronic Newsprint Shortages
Efforts to Expand U.S. Newsprint Output
Special Focus

Persistence of Supply and Price Problems

For fifteen years the paper on which newspapers are printed has risen steadily in cost and has been generally scarce. In 1956 newsprint requirements of American dailies and weeklies are running at an all-time high. Although both Canadian and American mills are operating at full capacity, demand again threatens to outstrip supply. The situation is tight and is likely to remain so.

Few commodities are more affected with a public interest than newsprint. Plentiful, fairly-priced supplies of what is “one of our most potent weapons” in the war of ideas with Russia are highly desirable. Since new price increases were announced last autumn, at least three congressional committees have indicated various degrees of concern about the newsprint situation; one has held hearings, and others may take a hand before the present session of Congress ends.

Consumption, Shortages, And Present Situation

After two years in which supply was fairly adequate, the year 1955 brought an unexpectedly large increase in consumption of newsprint in the United States. A record total of 6,466,000 tons was used last year, six per cent more than in 1954. Even so, demand was not fully satisfied; during the year some 56,000 tons had to be withdrawn from publishers' inventories. Toward the end of 1955, many United States and Canadian mills were receiving more orders than they could fill; some had to cut deliveries from 5 per cent to as much as 13½ per cent.

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