German Toilet Paper Makers Could Go Down the Drain Amid Energy Crisis
MOSCOW (Sputnik) - German toilet paper manufacturers are facing bankruptcy as rising energy prices upend their fuel-intensive business model, with Hakle, one of the country's best known brands, filing for insolvency at the beginning of September, the Financial Times reports.
"It pressed us too much and we were losing too much money," Volker Jung, Hakle's managing director, said of the price rises, as quoted by the newspaper. "I don’t think the wave of insolvencies can be stopped unless we have an [energy price] cap."
German manufacturers have been hit by rising transport costs, the strength of the dollar, as well as the closure of Nord Stream 1, the gas pipeline from Russia that used to power German industry, amid disputes over sanctions the EU imposed on Russia in response to its military operation in Ukraine.
Toilet roll makers are among those hardest hit as the energy crisis unfold. To produce a single 2-meter-wide 'mother roll' of toilet paper at its Mainz-Kostheim plant, Hakle's competitor Essity requires enough gas to heat a family home for weeks in winter. For now, the hygiene products has managed to find alternative sources of fuel and raise prices, with Lotus toilet rolls selling for 18% more.
In addition, German Chancellor Olaf Scholz has put together a 65 billion euro ($63.5 billion) anti-inflation package. However, paper industry insiders say this may not be enough to ward off de-industrialization, .