The situation in many paper markets in Germany remains challenging as February starts. Suppliers of packaging papers and boards see the necessity for price hikes, while the pressure on the publication paper market remains high.
Demand for publication paper continued to be low, while competitive pressure abounds and the range of prices is wide. Some buyers expect prices to fall further after the downward spiral in paper prices could not be halted at the turn of the year.
After the recent slight softening in quotes for recycled corrugated case material, there has been no further price movement. Producers say they have no leeway for further price concessions due to their heavy cost burden. Market participants expect that poor financial results will force containerboard producers to soon announce plans for price increases.
This has already happened in the market for recycled cartonboard: One producer has sent out letters to customers informing of price hikes. Converters believe that, given the ongoing weakness in the market, this measure is more likely an attempt to fend off further calls for mark-downs. So far, no other producer has followed suit.
Please find the full report in this week's issue of EUWID, along with the new report on pulp and thermal papers.