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Global Demand For Packaging Board Stronger And Price Higher
2021-08-29 13:30chinapaperonline.com
Since the start of August, price for industrial packaging paperboard has not only spiraled in the China market, but also gone on a new round of upswing in the European and North American markets. By mid-August, for example, market for 200gsm kraft linerboard and 110gsm semi-chemical medium saw US$50/ton price increases for both, which sent list price of the former to US$870/ton and the latter to US$790/ton. Price for 230gsm. virgin fiber based SBS board and recycled fiber board has also gained US$50/ton from July, hitting US$1,500/ton and US$1,000/ ton respectively. In Mexico, the MXN$500/tonne (US$25/tonne) rise in price of locally produced testliner for August from July is not enough to cope with strong demand of containerboard, which pushes the country to import more kraft-linerboard from USA at US$725/tonne or higher after a US$25/tonne increase! In Europe, the traditional slow-down in packaging paperboard production and conversion during the vacation months in summer is not repeating, as price of both virgin and recycled fiber linerboard gained €50/tonne in June and is now heading for another €50/tonne increase from September. At the same time, mainstream cardboard producers in Finland are seeking to add €130/tonne effective from September 1st, which will make the new list price to go beyond €1,100/tonne. The move is quickly echoed by German producers who will match by raising their sales price by 10% from September!

Based on reports from RISI and other industry institutions, people see that while the upswing in packaging board demand in the 3rd Quarter being seasonal by tradition, the active growth of online shopping as a result of remote working under the epidemic is the real driver keeping the strong and consistent growth in corrugated and carton box demand and consumption worldwide! At the same time, actions by governments of countries in the world for economic recovery are now paying off. For example, US government’s trillion-dollar economic recovery plan, including sending relief checks to the people, has stimulated production and consumption, and subsequently generated active demand for packaging paperboard and containers.

In 2020, Data from Fiber Box Association (FBA) showed US corrugated box shipment increase by 3.4% over 2019 to reach an all-time peak of 406.78 billion square feet. Given the continued strong demand for packaging, market participants expect that U.S. corrugated box shipments will set another all-time record in 2021!

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