As with all industries, buying in the paper market requires a certain amount of expertise in order to make strategic purchasing decisions. The Packaging Intelligence Center (PIC) distills RISI's extensive coverage so you can quickly and easily understand what drives supply and demand; follow major players that influence the market; and see how paper manufacturing costs can impact your price. PIC’s customizable dashboard exposes these market dynamics in context of price, so you can rapidly apply them to your organization. With this insight you will be able to identify new opportunities and uncover potential risks on which you can act. PIC will help you:

  • Recognize and leverage shifts in supply and demand affecting your buying power
  • Know when major players trigger market changes impacting your price and why
  • Understand and track key cost inputs driving your price
Containerboard Inventories at Box Plants and Mills

Leverage Supply and Demand

Changes in supply and demand within the paper packaging industry can be traced to several key market indicators. Market indicators such as production inventories, capacities, backorders, and shipments can reveal levels of supply and demand. PIC can help you follow these benchmarks so you can anticipate market changes and explain them to others.  

For example, as demand for containerboard decreases, mills transfer unsold goods into inventory. The growing supply places pressure on suppliers to sell at reduced prices in order to move goods. This information could justify a price break for you—if you know when to act. Conversely, as demand for containerboard increases, mills sell inventory. As supply decreases and goods become scarce, suppliers can charge more. Buyers will find it difficult to negotiate discounts and may even see higher prices. 

Understanding how indicators, like inventories, reflect supply and demand can help you identify opportunities and risks. PIC makes tracking and reporting on these indicators simple. 

See news about industry players on an integrated price chart. Understand how changes can impact your bottom line.

Follow Major Players

When influential market leaders like integrated and nonintegrated paper manufacturers, converters, investors and other buyers, respond to shifts in supply and demand, their actions can have an impact on your price. PIC automatically applies RISI’s comprehensive reporting of industry news to current and forecasted price fluctuations. Information and commentary on plant closures, project announcements, capacity changes, and mergers and acquisitions is time-stamped and correlated with pricing data. You will quickly learn what players influence supply and demand, and know how their actions can affect your price.

Similarly, you can learn from historical trends. When your suppliers make relevant moves in the market PIC can help you anticipate what they might mean for your price. Understanding the impact of past market events can tell you what to expect when they happen again. You can use this information to help you budget for changing prices in the future or simply to inform yourself going into negotiations. With PIC, you don't need to sift through our entire database of news stories; the most relevant information is highlighted for you.

Know when input costs, like fiber, go down and use information for discount requests.

Track Cost Drivers

Understanding mill production, transportation and other relevant supplier costs will help you understand their influence on price. Tracking these costs over time will help you anticipate market volatility.For example, fiber (pulp and recycled paper) is the single largest input cost for paper manufacturing—representing up to 50% of cost across many paper grades. If fiber prices rise, suppliers will typically pass these costs to customers. However, if fiber prices fall, suppliers may not be as quick to lower prices. Buyers need to be informed of when a supplier’s costs are down so they can ask for a discount or challenge a proposed rate.PIC gives you visibility into these costs, down to an individual mills’ fiber, energy and labor costs. You will be able to see, track, and compare your suppliers’ costs against each other or against market averages. Understanding cost competitiveness across the industry will help you determine when you should be getting a better price.