U.S. Containerboard Flat

"We're surprised," says Mark Wilde, senior analyst with Deutsche Bank, explaining that domestic U.S. containerboard prices remained unchanged at $635 - $645/ton in December. November box data, he notes, were a bit better than YTD trends.

Wilde also points out that export prices to high beta markets (S. Europe, Middle East) are weak and continue falling. "While domestic prices appear relatively stable, we expect increased price pressure in the first half of this year," he says.