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Tagged "corrugated market"

Price increase for corrugated products in North America

Several major North American producers of containerboard have recently increased linerboard prices by $50-$70/ton. Though these price increases are not yet reflected in Pulp & Paper (Fastmarkets RISI) — the industry publication that drives many packaging paper supply contracts — this recent round of increases is already being adopted by several integrated and independent corrugated manufacturers.

While corrugated increases are expected a couple times a year, this situation is slightly abnormal because the increase is being driven by tight supply and sustained increase in demand, which has not let up despite the holiday season coming to an end. These issues are compounded by the rise in input costs and unpredictable shortages in labor due to COVID-19.

Please reach out to your Customer Success Manager to understand how the price increase impacts your products.

Price increase for corrugated products in North America

On November 20th, 2020, Pulp & Paper (Fastmarkets RISI), the industry publication that drives packaging paper supply contracts, published a $50/ton increase in linerboard and corrugated medium (containerboard). The major North American producers of containerboard cite strong demand for corrugated products and the rising cost of transportation, energy and insurance as reasons for the increase. 

Learn more about corrugate price changes using the Lumi Corrugated Tracker.

Containerboard is the largest material component of corrugated products. As a result corrugated manufacturers across North America have increased prices. Price increases vary by manufacturer, but range between 6 to 10%. For some manufacturers the increase is effective immediately, for others it will take up to 90 days.

Please reach out to your Customer Success Manager to understand how the price increase impacts your products.

Paper mills announce linerboard pricing twice a year, typically from February through March and September through October. We post all updates to linerboard pricing on our Corrugated Price Tracker.

We expect linerboard pricing to increase by $50/ton at the end of March, and this will increase the price of corrugated boxes by end of April 2018. At a glance, here are the predominant factors that are driving the pricing increase:

  • Most major paper producers have announced a $50/ton increase to a majority of grades, including the benchmark 42# kraft linerboard grade which is rising from $705-$755/ton, effective on all paper shipments starting March 1st.
  • Generally, increases in box pricing follow suit within a month of linerboard increases.
  • Rising freight costs is a primary drivers.
  • Mill capacity and moderately increasing demand are also key drivers.
  • Export prices of paper could also play a role, as well as continued consolidation on both mill and converting sides.

Reasons cited by mills for this particular increase include freight costs, moderate demand growth, and mill capacity. Domestic freight costs are at an all time high and the highest they’ve been since 2015, according to data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Demand continues to moderately increase a few percentage points per year, driven largely by the ecommerce sector. Current mill capacity utilization is at 93%-98%, so any growth is strains demand. (For reference, full capacity is typically considered to be around 85%, since 100% volume renders a factory inoperable.)

These are the predominant factors for the increase, but there are certainly other factors at work here as well. Notable, significant acquisitions on both the mill and converting side over the past year, and export paper pricing is at a high point.