Prices for most paper and cartonboard grades have soared to new record highs in France, as they have throughout Europe, in the past few weeks after a large number of markups.
Printing and writing paper prices are now showing the first signs of manufacturers bidding farewell to their practice of charging a base price plus special premiums for months now and are moving to standalone sales prices again. In the weeks and months to come, pricing for printing and writing papers will be influenced by UPM resuming production in Finland, which will provide more clarity about supply and demand.
Corrugated case material prices increased again in April and May, often markedly so, but markups for brown kraftliner have turned out to be much smaller than manufacturers wanted. Additional hikes are not thought to be on the horizon. Instead, producers tend to be setting their sights on holding on to current prices. The same is true in the cartonboard business, where lead times are still very long, but demand has cooled in some instances.
Manufacturing costs remain high. Graphic recovered paper prices climbed again in May, and energy prices are still an element of uncertainty for paper manufacturers, too. It is less clear than ever how markets will evolve going forward, especially in the packaging business, in light of the current geopolitical upheaval.
This article is an excerpt from our latest report on paper and board markets in France. Subcribers to EUWID Pulp and Paper will have acces to the full report from Wednesday.