Board Converting News sources reported that the top three North American containerboard producers — International Paper (IP), WestRock, and Packaging Corporation of America (PCA) — have all announced $70 per ton price increases, effective March 1. Cascades has reportedly announced a $40 per ton hike on corrugating medium, effective March 1, and Greif announced that it is implementing a $50 per ton increase for all grades of uncoated recycled paperboard (URB) effective with new orders and shipments on and after February 14, 2022.

“To date, no company has broken ranks with IP’s $70 per ton increase or the March 1 implementation date,” noted Mark Wilde, Ph.D. of BMO Capital Markets. “A $70 hike would be the largest in industry history and comes in the wake of $160-180 of price increases (three separate hikes) over the past 18 months. 

“We rate the prospects of the $70 hike as roughly 50/50,” added Wilde. “This hike is apt to be tougher than the prior three moves during this cycle. Based on recent BMO channel checks, containerboard appears to be more widely available than it was four to six months ago.”

Board Converting News will adjust its prices if and when survey respondents report having paid the imminent increases.