UK: price hikes on the cards for recycled containerboard


Higher prices are on the cards for the packaging paper market this spring. Brown and white recycled containerboard is poised to cost more as of 1 March.

February did not bring any major movement in prices on the British recycled corrugated case material market. Suppliers have announced their intention to charge more from 1 March, but no signs of a significant recovery in demand have emerged to date. In the second week of February, paper manufacturers were reporting modest demand that was better than last year, but paper mills still had high stocks. Corrugated board manufacturers state that paper can be delivered within 24 hours.

EUWID sources said that the corrugated board business downright collapsed at the start of February after an initial minor upswing in January. As the month began, hardly any orders were available and corrugated packaging manufacturers sometimes even took brief downtime.

Manufacturers and buyers alike have their eyes on the developments in mainland Europe. The price increases put in place there are expected to come to British shores too after a slight delay. Paper manufacturers are confident that the positive trend in demand and Continental European mills' good operating rates will spread to the UK, as well.

For paper manufacturers, it is just a matter of time before the British market becomes as tight as it is on the Continent. They conceded that price talks might possibly drag on into March, but were confident that buyers would have to dig deeper into their pockets in the foreseeable future. The financial situation facing mills in the UK was tense, and recycled corrugated case material importers had been under massive pressure since the pound Sterling started losing value, they said.

Corrugated board producers have a relatively relaxed attitude towards the price increases. Buyers told EUWID that they did not expect to pay the increase until April.

⇒ This article is an excerpt from EUWID's monthly report on the paper markets in the UK. The EUWID Price Watch UK for February will be published in EUWID Pulp and Paper no. 08 on 20 February.

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