Falling prices for OCC in the U.S.A. continue to reflect a market struggling with surplus supply as demand seen during the COVID-19 pandemic e-commerce boom has cooled substantially.
OCC prices in many regions fell by $40 per ton, according to Fastmarkets RISI’s Pulp & Paper Week “Price Watch” dated September 7, with the South-east seeing a $45-per-ton drop. The Los Angeles and San Francisco regions saw the least amount of damage but still did not escape unscathed, both facing a $15-per-ton decrease in prices.
According to RISI pricing data, the average U.S. OCC price per ton stands at $77, down 29% from August and approximately 53% from a year ago, when the average price was $98 per ton.
Mixed paper also has faced a notable pricing decline, with the current U.S. average at $18 per ton. That’s down 59% from August and nearly 82% from a year ago, when the average price was $98 per ton.
The decreased demand was reflected in a recent announcement from FedEx when it issued an earnings warning predicated on the softening global volume of packages being shipped to customers, with New York-based investment banking company Jefferies Group noting a “massive inventory glut” in cardboard. The bank also reports a sharp decline in orders for cardboard packaging and anticipates manufacturers will cut prices in the fourth quarter of this year.