What is the latest on the availability of raw materials for labels? It seems like things have not gotten any better for months now.
DONE: You are absolutely correct; we saw material supplies starting to tighten up over a year and a half ago. Most raw material suppliers predicted things would improve in early 2021. Well, that certainly didn’t happen. Throughout 2021, raw material supply availability continued to get worse. Most of our suppliers responded by enacting allocations on even the most basic stocks such as Thermal Transfer and Direct Thermal paper. We have all heard the issues related to storms in the gulf states and paper mills pivoting away from printing papers, but that is only part of the story. Here we are in Q2 of 2022 and there is no end in sight. Certainly, the UPM Finland paper plant strike has exasperated the situation and it is still not resolved. This strike is important because that plant supplies over 25% of liner stock for the U.S. market, in addition to a large portion of semi-gloss face sheet. At this point, every one of our raw material suppliers is stating that conditions won’t get any better throughout 2022. The industry continues to face unprecedented demand, while simultaneously dealing with supply chain problems.