Although longer term the forecast for corrugated boxes is forecast to increase 3 to 4% per year through 2013 (to 213billion square meters), many voice short term concerns. Yes, paper boxes continue to be the environmental choice for packaging to protect and transport items; but, reusable plastic crates are providing competition.
Containerboard prices, assisted with good demand, remain steady after falling $70/ton since its peak, last fall. Note, it has been reported that spot prices for 42-lb linerboard range from $450-470/ton in Central US, and $410-440/ton in the Northeast region. Recycled spot prices are below $400/ton. US kraftliner export prices are still around the $320/ton FAS level. Recent reports on market pricing for Containerboard point to staple pricing of approximately $540/ton for June shipments. The box shipments declined 10.7%, while shipments in March fell 12.1% vs March 2008 this after 10.5% February 2008 vs 2009.