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Newsprint is low-cost, non-archival paper most commonly used to print newspapers, plus other publications and advertising material. It usually has an off-white cast and distinctive feel. It is designed for use on printing presses that employ a long web of paper (web offset, letterpress and flexographic) rather than individual sheets of paper. Newsprint mainly consists of wood pulp.

Newsprint is favored by publishers and printers for its combination of relatively low cost (compared with paper grades used to print such products as glossy magazines or sales brochures), high strength (to run through modern high-speed web printing presses) and the ability to accept four-color printing at qualities that meet the needs of typical newspaper advertisers.



The web of paper is placed on the press in the form of a roll delivered from a paper mill (surplus newsprint can also be cut into individual sheets by a processor for use in a variety of other applications such as wrapping or commercial printing). World demand of newsprint in 2006 totaled about 37.2 million metric tonnes, according to the Montreal-based Pulp & Paper Products Council (PPPC). This was about 1.6% less than in 2000. Between 2000 and 2006, the biggest changes were in Asia—which saw newsprint demand grow by about 20%—and North America, where demand fell by about 25%. Demand in China virtually doubled during the period, to about 3.2 million metric tonnes.

About 35% of global newsprint usage in 2006 was in Asia, with approximately 26% being in North America and about 25% in Western Europe. Latin America and Eastern Europe each represented about 5% of world demand in 2006, according to PPPC, with smaller shares going to Oceania and Africa.

Among the biggest factors depressing demand for newsprint in North America have been the decline in newspaper readership among many sectors of the population—particularly young adults—along with increasing competition for advertising business from the Internet and other media. According to Newspaper Association of America, the United States U.S. newspaper trade group, average U.S. daily circulation in 2006 on a typical weekday was 52.3 million (53.2 million on Sundays), compared with 62.5 million in 1986 (58.9 million on Sundays) and 57.0 million in 1996 (60.8 million on Sundays). According to NAA, daily ad revenues (not adjusted for inflation) reached their all-time peak in 2000, and by 2007 had fallen by 13%. Newsprint demand has also been affected by attempts on the part of newspaper publishers to reduce marginal printing costs through various conservation measures intended to cut newsprint usage.

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