French brown recycled containerboard prices unchanged, downward pressure threatens to emerge in March
Paper manufacturers report customers calling for reductions on recycled containerboard prices to ease input cost pressure.
The spike in French prices for brown recycled corrugated case material appears to be over in the first quarter of 2014. Insiders said that buyers were testing out the market and trying to lower costs after their attempts to charge more for corrugated board frequently failed in the face of resistance from end customers.
It did not seem clear lately whether buyers would manage to turn the table when it came to prices. Many sources expected to have a better picture in March at the latest. Market players said that prices for February deliveries had been the same as those charged in January.
The situation is clearer when it comes to white-top testliner, with prices tending to fall by 2-3% in the first two months of the year. Excess supply continues to exist after many investment and rebuilding projects in the recent past. Consequently, prices are still feeling the pinch even though the trend in consumption is not bad.
Manufacturers often reported average to good paper demand in February, sometimes with a slightly downward trend. By contrast, inventories have apparently swollen in February. Business on the corrugated board business was average in France, EUWID respondents remarked.
This article is an excerpt from EUWID's monthly report on the paper markets in France. The EUWID Price Watch France for February will be published in EUWID Pulp and Paper no. 09 on 26 February.
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