Strong domestic box demand keeps OCC prices up

Box demand has been strong since the summer of 2020, helping to boost old corrugated container prices. But sources say prices could plateau.

Domestic recovered paper demand stayed strong in September, and prices for all grades of recovered paper have increased slightly as well. But a few recovered paper brokers say generation is off from where it usually is this time of year.

“Summertime traditionally tends to be a little slow anyway because people are on vacation,” a broker based on the West Coast says. “If you look at the seasonality, in the fall, generation should be picking up. I don’t know if that’s going to happen or not.”

He says demand among domestic buyers is strong for tissue grades such as sorted office paper (SOP) and coated book stock—particularly as there is some need for away-from-home tissue products as fewer COVID-19 restrictions are in place this year—but he adds that the demand could also be the effect of extremely soft generation levels.