The finished paper product market saw a new wave of vigorous price increases as May began. This trend was noticeable in north, east, and south China in production areas of large volumes of finished paper products, such as white paperboard, corrugated paper, and cardboard boxes. The price of raw materials for paper products, such as paper pulp, rapidly increased in the last year. According to industry analysts, the price increase of finished paper products is only half-way to catching up with the price increase of the raw material. The price is expected to increase further in May and June.
In the short period between May 1st and 4th, 32 paper companies have already announced price increase. On average the prices of various paper products increase by 100-300 yuan [15.75-47.25 USD] per ton. The average price of heavy corrugated paper in China is currently around 4350 yuan [685.05 USD] per ton, which is an increase of 11% in comparison with the beginning of last year.
The main reason for this development is the price increase of paper pulp, which in turn is due to a supply shortage. Another reason is the price increase of wastepaper. China limited imports of wastepaper this year and the import volume has visibly decreased. Buyers were forced to turn to the domestic market, which caused increased prices. Industry experts estimate that the price increase will be maintained in the short-term.