Ukraine War Exacerbates Strains on Corrugated Board Industry

The corrugated board industry is facing extreme hardship due to rapid price increases in the energy sector and impending shortages of raw materials, explains the Association of the Corrugated Board Industry. Even before the war broke out, the market situation had been tense and for months the cost pressure had been higher than ever.

The Verband der Wellpappen-Industrie e. V. (VDW) condemns the war of aggression against Ukraine and expressly supports the sanction measures against Russia. At the same time, it speaks of extreme effects on the corrugated board industry. „The recently observed dizzying price increases in the energy sector are hitting a corrugated board industry that has already been confronted with ever new cost increases for many months,“ warns VDW Chairman Dr. Steffen P. Würth. Last week, he said, wholesale prices for natural gas had risen more sharply than ever before.

The corrugated board industry itself, but also the supplying manufacturers of corrugated base paper, are significantly dependent on natural gas as an energy source. „We are already seeing paper mill closures due to gas prices getting out of hand. In combination with the loss of kraftliner imports from Russia, this threatens a shortage of our most important raw material, corrugated base paper – and this assumes a historically high paper price level even before the start of the war,“ explains Würth. Fuel prices driven by the war are also hitting the corrugated board industry extremely hard, emphasizes the VDW Chairman. VDW members are also already reporting delays in logistics, tighter freight space, and production stops or disruptions in the packaging industry, they say.

The massive price turbulence in the energy market „and the threat of raw material shortages in this context“ are filling the industry with the greatest concern. „We must be able to count on politicians now to also act decisively to contain the wartime effects on energy prices. This is the only way to prevent a critical weakening of system-relevant economic sectors,“ Würth appeals.