Corrugated container producers are growing pessimistic toward October’s containerboard price hike and pass-through to box prices despite continued tight containerboard supply, according to a Longbow Research survey.

According to the survey, the percentage of respondents with a “weak” three-month demand outlook rose from 5% to 25%, while those with a “strong” outlook dropped from 30% to 15%. Forty-three percent said current demand is atypical, with 93% of those saying it is weaker than usual, and that economic fears are affecting consumer behavior.

The rest of the year will probably see a struggle between supply-side discipline and weaker demand. If the current price initiative fails, it would then be expected to be implemented in the first half of 2009.

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Longbow Research