Corrugated board market slowed somewhat in March
Prices for recycled corrugated case material in Germany moved sideways from March into April. In a few cases, sellers mentioned they consider further upward adjustments in May, especially since supply of recycled corrugated case material is still somewhat tight even though it has improved considerably. In general, buyers were having to search for additional volumes. "We can get these volumes, but not without some effort on our part”, said one market participant.
Some respondents in the German market say that order intake is declining slightly right now. If this calming of the market – at a high level – continues, converters no longer believe that producers of recycled corrugated case material will achieve another price step. Until recently, paper makers had capacity utilisation as a supporting argument when calling for higher prices.
Since Easter came quite early this year, the Easter business in the German corrugated board and paper industry was also earlier than usual. The reduction in incoming orders in March could also be due to school holidays, according to market participants. Many respondents said that players would first have to "get back to business” after the Easter holidays before a clear picture of the market emerged. But amidst this market environment, only a few converters expect sellers to take concrete steps towards raising prices. However, none of the respondents surveyed were willing to completely rule out anything, noting that the past months had shown that the market was too unpredictable.