FOEX: European packaging indexes mixed, with recycled-based prices flat to slightly higher and virgin-fiber prices down somewhat; price differential between recycled and virgin-fiber grades contines to narrow
February 4, 2014
– Containerboard Europe – In the US, containerboard production weakened towards the end of the year with December volumes nearly 3% down from December 2012. For the year as a whole, production of containerboard was up by 1.2%. The low volumes in December helped the inventories down. With the satisfactory outlook on the economic fundamentals, the 2014 volumes can be expected to grow again. The growing supply potential, mainly through conversions from other grades, is a cause for some concern, however. In Europe, the price differential between the virgin fibre based liners and RP-based containerboard products continues to narrow and is now under 90 EUR/ton between virgin fibre kraftliner and testliner 2. Still, the demand continues to be quite firm for the RP-based products while some of the brown kraftliner producers are reportedly taking some downtime. The above-mentioned narrow price gap shrank further this time with brown (and white-top) virgin fibre linerboard prices continuing to fall and RP-based prices inching up. The currency movements had an upward impact on our indices as the Euro weakened by 1.25% against the USD and by about 0.5% against the non-EMU currency basket. Our packaging indices headed down for the virgin fibre-based grades and were flat or slightly up for the RP-based grades. The PIX Kraftliner index lost 1.06 euro, or 0.2%, to 567.76 EUR/ton. Our PIX White-top Kraftliner index retreated by 86 cents, or by 0.1%, settling at 758.77 EUR/ton. The PIX Testliner 2 index remained flat at 479.76 EUR/ton. The PIX Testliner 3 index value went up by 46 cents, or by 0.1%, closing at 460.82 EUR/ton. The PIX RB Fluting index gained 39 cents, 0.1%, settling at 452.73 EUR/ton.