February 2018 Update
Most publications have reported $100 of linerboard increases over the past year. Pack Trax's assessment is that considerably less than that level has been implemented for the sharpest container buyers.
Containerboard producers have announced a price increase of $50 to $70 / ton for North America. This announcement has an effective date in February, but we expect prices will be stable through Q1.
In Asia, Topliner prices rocketed up in the second half of 2017, but corrected downward by up to 800 Renminbi /MT in January versus the beginning of Q4 2017 as the Chinese government began to release import permits for recycled paper. This is alleviating supply / pricing pressures on containerboard input costs.
2018 Packaging Material Cost Forecast Update Highlights for Containers
Our 2018 Forecast was completed in June in time for budgeting for 2018. At that time we had projected a third increase will partially succeed in Q4 2017 or Q1 2018. It looks now as though Q2 / 2018 is realistic.