Prices for recycled containerboard are crumbling on ample supply and slower demand. Corrugated board and packaging demand on the market in Poland has cooled off in the first quarter.
The market for recycled corrugated case material in Poland has cooled off to a greater extent than expected in February and March. The slowdown is a result of weaker demand from Polish converters over the recent weeks. Higher inventories at paper mills, as well as a slight increase in production capacity in Europe are also said to have played a decisive role in disturbing the supply and demand balance in Poland.
According to industry representatives, first signs of a weakening market were visible already in February, when first buyers have granted occasional price discounts to their customers. The actual downslide in prices, however, began in the middle of March with a major Polish market player reducing its prices. Many other companies followed suit in lowering recycled containerboard prices, in most cases retroactively as of 1 March.
The upbeat mood of Polish players in the corrugated board and corrugated packaging market has dulled in the course of the first quarter. For many companies in the segment, demand for packaging fell behind expectations from February or March. Load levels at many a corrugated board facility in the country is insufficient, according to reports.
Complaints were heard especially from companies in eastern Poland. Due to current political tensions between and Russia, trade relations with the two countries have become more difficult, experts say.