Despite strong capacity utilisation and good business on the German market in February and March, corrugated board and packaging manufacturers say to have little reason for celebration
After a strong February business, many corrugated board manufacturers at the beginning of March report that machines are running to capacity. Earnings, however, are said to be worse than just unsatisfactory. Companies are reportedly fighting for every extra cent from customers.
As things stand, there is little chance that margins will improve. To begin with, producers of kraftliner, white-top kraftliner are demanding higher prices as of the beginning of April. And secondly, prices for brown recycled corrugated case material are under pressure, which corrugated board producers describe as "disastrous". While it was true that lower recycled containerboard prices would provide much-needed relief to margins, they could also trigger pressure on corrugated board prices, some EUWID respondents noted .
The extent of the potential cuts in the recycled containerboard segment is said to correspond to the last prices increase in 2013 which corrugated board producers could not pass on to customers as the year came to an end, market players explained.
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