GC board manufacturers are trying to implement higher prices on the German market, pointing to good demand. Converters, however, put resistance since they fear to be unable to pass on the hikes to their customers.
After one supplier of GC board announced price hikes from 1 November, another major producer has now followed suit. The first talks with customers are underway in Germany and some representatives of the folding carton industry have very clearly stated their displeasure at the plans. Nevertheless, producers of virgin fibre board want to realise their plans during the fourth quarter.
Capacity utilisation on their machines has been good for weeks and delivery times are now as long as nine weeks, depending on the supplier. Although these shipment times mean "a comfortable situation" for producers, it also takes away some of their flexibility to respond quickly to new inquiries, says one market participant. This is a very good starting point for implementing the price hike and it mainly reflects the good market, he added.
However folding carton producers are not very accepting of the planned step, especially because it will be impossible to pass on higher prices. While board producers report good capacity utilisation, the market for folding cartons is experiencing excess capacity despite good demand.