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Description: Cartonboard is a type of paperboard with a typical thickness of 180 to 600g/m2, Key facts
which is usually folded into boxes to be used as primary or secondary packaging. It is produced
from recovered paper, pulp or a mixture of both. The recovered paper is used in the production Global production: 45m
of cheaper grades of cartonboard, while stronger and more expensive grades can be produced tonnes per annum
from different types of pulp, ranging from mechanical to bleached softwood kraft (BSK) pulp.
Cartonboard is used to package many types of products such as dry and frozen food, health care, Major producers: China,
tobacco, household, hardware, ready meals, dairy, personal care, confectionary, baked products, Europe, USA
pharmaceuticals etc.
Major exporters: Europe, USA
Production process: There are many varieties of cartonboard and the feedstock used to
produce them will depend on the end application. The strongest type of cartonboard is a solid
Price (WLC GD2, Europe, 2015
board, which is produced from chemical pulp, while less strong boards will contain a mixture of average): EUR 708/tonne
chemical and mechanical pulps. The least strong boards will contain a high amount of Price (FBB GC2, Europe, 2015
recovered paper.
average): EUR 1107/tonne
In order to produce cartonboard, the feedstock is blended with a large amount of water, which
Price (SBB, Europe, 2015
is called stock preparation. If the cartonboard has more than 1 ply, each ply (stock) is
average): EUR 1772/tonne
prepared separately and then formed together into one board. The mixture is laid onto a wire
mesh (woven synthetic fabric) and water is removed by gravitation, rollers and steam heat Uses: packaging, carrier boxes,
cylinders. When dried, the material is coated (on both sides) and rolled onto the jumbo reel. graphic board (e.g. postcards)
Cartonboards are usually coated, which is often done using kaolin (china clay), chalk (calcium
carbonate) or titanium dioxide, but some other chemical materials can also be used.
Additionally, it can be covered with a polymer layer to better protect the content from water, For further information, email
light, oxygen and bacteria. or
The last stage is to cut it to size and deliver in reels or sheets.

Which Datagain price series to use?

Datagain code Commodity Grade/details Origin Delivery Location/destination

PJ85/PJ86 Cartonboard GC2 del Germany

PS69/PS70 Cartonboard GD2 del France

0Z18/0Z19 Cartonboard SBB/SBS China

PU16 Cartonboard SBS/C1S del USA

Grades/varieties: There are many grades of cartonboard, but the four major types are:
Solid bleached board (SBB): a board made mainly from bleached chemical pulp, but may also include some recovered paper. It is used
in luxury goods packaging, while the uncoated (UZ) is used for cup stock, frozen food and liquid packaging board (LPB) production.
Solid unbleached board (SUB): a board produced from unbleached chemical pulp, which is very strong and, therefore, often used in
bottle and can carrier boxes.
Folding boxboard (FBB): also called a chromo board (C), it is a board made from mechanical and chemical pulp, and has a wider range
of packaging uses such as confectionary, frozen food or pharmaceutical.
White lined chipboard (WLC): includes duplex (D) or triplex (T) depending on the number of furnishes (number of different feedstock
layers); it is a board of high recovered paper content and used in packaging of cereals, frozen food, toys, cosmetics, tissues and in many
other markets.
The grades of cartonboard are further divided into uncoated (U), coated (G) or cast-coated (A). The number next to the grade indicates the
colour of the reverse side, which can be white (1), cream (2) or brown (3), e.g. GC2 is a coated FBB with a cream reverse. The exception is a
duplex board, which often has grey on the reverse and numbers to indicate its thickness: 1.45 cm3/g and thicker (D1), 1.45-1.3 cm3/g (D2)
and less than 1.3 cm3/g (D3).
Production and trade: The global production of cartonboard is around 45m tonnes. The main producing regions are China (30% of
worlds total), Europe (23%) and the US (20%). Within Europe, the biggest producers are Sweden (6% of worlds total), Finland (4%) and
Germany (4%). Annually, there are around 15m tonnes of cartonboard exported and Europe is the biggest exporter (59%), followed by US
(15%). WLC board is the most consumed type of board.

Cartonboard supply chain of major


Grade Description Grade Description

SBB/SBS Solid bleached board / sulphate FBB Folding boxboard

AZ Cast-coated solid bleached board UC Uncoated chromo board
UZ Uncoated solid bleached board GC Coated chromo board
GZ Coated solid bleached board WLC White lined chipboard
C1S (one side coated)/ C2S (both sides) UD Uncoated duplex board
SUB/SUS Solid unbleached board / sulphate UT Uncoated triplex board
GN Coated solid unbleached board GD Coated duplex board
CUK Coated unbleached kraft GT Coated triplex board
CNK Coated natural kraft
*classification based on European grading system including some alternative names used in other regions.

Price influencing factors:

Feedstock costs can affect the price of cartonboard, especially pulp prices, which contribute more to the overall cost of the
commodity. Pulp prices are mainly influenced by demand growth and stock availability, in addition to major changes in the cost of

Energy is also an important driver of cartonboard prices as its production is an energy intensive process, mainly utilised in the form
of electricity and heat.

A considerable amount of cartonboard is being traded between different regions and, therefore, currency exchange rates can
affect the demand and trade flows; e.g. strengthening of the US dollar and weakening of the Chinese Yuan would reduce export
demand from the US to China.
Economic upturn or downturn affects the demand for consumer goods and hence the price for cartonboards. If consumers are
buying more or less of the finished product, the demand will fluctuate accordingly.

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