Our reporter Wang Xi
After half a year, recently, the three major manufacturers of white cardboard, Jinguang Group APP (including Bohui Paper), Wanguo Sun Paper, and Chenming Paper, once again issued a price increase letter at the same time, saying that from February 15th, The price of white cardboard will increase by 100 yuan/ton.
"Although the price increase this time is not large, it is not easy to implement." An industry insider told the "Securities Daily" reporter, "Since 2023, the price of white cardboard is still at a historical low, but it has shown a positive trend. , The industry estimates that there will be a large-scale price increase in March this year, and this round of price increase letters issued by many paper companies is more like a tentative price increase before the peak season."
White cardboard tentatively raised
As an important part of packaging paper, white cardboard has obvious consumption attributes, of which the total proportion of medicines, cigarettes, and food packaging is about 50%.
Flush data shows that the price of white cardboard has experienced huge fluctuations in 2021. It once reached more than 10,000 yuan/ton from March 2021 to May 2021, and has since fallen sharply.
In 2022, the price of white cardboard will decline as a whole, especially from the second half of 2022.
As of February 3, 2023, the price of white cardboard is 5210 yuan/ton, which is still at a historical low.
Regarding the status of the white cardboard market in 2022, Minsheng Securities summarized it with "overcapacity in the industry, pressure on domestic demand, and partial hedging of external demand".
Zhuo Chuang Information analyst Pan Jingwen told the "Securities Daily" reporter that the domestic demand for white cardboard last year was not as good as expected, which made the overall price of white cardboard, which is closely related to consumption, fluctuate and decline.
The above-mentioned industry insiders also said that while the downstream demand for white cardboard is shrinking, a large number of new production capacity has increased on the supply side, and some paper companies have converted white board paper production capacity into white cardboard production capacity. But the situation of oversupply in the country is still very serious.
However, leading paper companies such as Chenming Paper said that although the export business of white cardboard has declined to a certain extent recently, with the gradual recovery of downstream demand, the white cardboard market may come out of the trough.
Kong Xiangfen, an analyst at Zhuo Chuang Information, also told the "Securities Daily" reporter that with the gradual increase in market activity, the white cardboard market will begin to warm up and increase, but because the downstream has not yet fully resumed, market volatility is temporarily weak, and trade Businessmen are still holding a wait-and-see attitude.
During the interview, many people in the industry believed that the price increase of paper companies was a tentative price increase before the peak season in March this year.
"Whether it can be implemented depends on changes on the demand side."
Mixed performance in the paper market
The "Securities Daily" reporter learned in the interview that recently, in addition to the three major manufacturers of white cardboard issuing price increase letters, there are also sporadic price increases for base paper such as white board paper and kraft paper.
"The industry may raise the price of raw paper for the first time since the Spring Festival." The above-mentioned industry insider told reporters that although the increase in paper prices, especially packaging paper, is relatively small, it also reflects the attitude of paper companies to a certain extent.
In contrast, the recent market prices of corrugated and container board paper, the main paper types of packaging paper, are mainly stable, and the prices in some areas are still slightly down.
Zhuo Chuang Information analyst Lv Yanshuo told the "Securities Daily" reporter that after the Spring Festival holiday, the price of waste paper, the upstream raw material for corrugated and cardboard paper, has dropped significantly, and the cost support has weakened. In addition, the downstream market is still in the recovery stage. Prices are stable and slightly down.
Looking at the whole year, Zhuo Chuang Information expects that the price of corrugated and containerboard will fluctuate in 2023, but the annual average price may still show a downward trend compared with 2022.
Lu Yanshuo said, "In 2023, the supply and demand of corrugated and containerboard paper are expected to show a double increase trend, but the overall supply increase may be greater than the demand increase. The market supply and demand game is obvious, and the price operation may still be under pressure."
Compared with the low expectations of the waste paper industry, the industry believes that the cost improvement of pulp and paper enterprises this year is more certain, especially as the two major pulp producers of Finland UPM and Chile's Arauco have gradually expanded their production, which will increase the global pulp market. Nearly 4 million tons of pulp production capacity will alleviate the shortage of global pulp supply to a certain extent.
The Cinda Securities Research Report stated that it continues to be optimistic about the quarter-by-quarter improvement in the profitability of leading paper companies, and suggests that the industry pay attention to the implementation of subsequent price increases in the context of demand recovery.