Taipei-The Council of Agriculture (COA) on Saturday assured farmers that it will help those facing shortages of cardboard cartons to pack their produce amid the continued rise in international pulp prices.
Yao Chih-wang (???), deputy director of the COA's Agriculture and Food Agency, told CNA that it is working with local farmers' associations and suppliers in Taiwan to allocate any stocks of cartons that are available to farmers in need.
According to Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) Legislator Tsai Yi-yu (???), many farmers in Chiayi County have complained about not being able to find enough cardboard cartons for their goods, and some said they faced three-month lead times from carton suppliers.
Yeh Chin-hui (???), a farmers' association official in Yunlin County, said a cardboard box used to cost NT$35 per unit but is now more expensive by about NT$3 to NT$5 since the beginning of this month.
Farmers are unhappy because the "prices of vegetables are down while the prices of cardboard boxes are up," Yeh said.
An analyst with an institutional investor on Saturday attributed the shortage of cartons to several factors, including a shortage of available shipping containers, which has made getting waste paper from abroad that is used to make cartons more difficult and expensive.
China's ban on the import of recovered fiber, plastic scrap and other recyclable materials beginning this year has also reduced the supply of recycled fibers for cardboard production.
According to the institution, Taiwan's consumption of all types of paper use totaled 4.37 million metric tons in 2020, an increase of 1.86 percent over the previous year.
Source: Focus Taiwan News Channel