Flexible Packaging Europe report on prices of flexible packaging materials

Flexible Packaging Europe (FPE) is the industry association representing the interests of more than 80 small and medium-sized companies and multinational manufacturers. The member companies account more than th  85% of European sales of flexible packaging made of different materials, mainly plastic, aluminum and paper. 

Prices falling but above average

Prices of flexible packaging materials are no longer skyrocketing but remain above their market averages. They had peaked in 2022, and then started to decline, until at least the first half of 2023.
If we look at the price set as a benchmark (that of the fourth quarter of 2020), we are still slightly above, but down 10-20 % from last quarter.

HDPE and LDPE prices declined by 10% and 14% respectively compared to the second quarter of 2023, to close the third quarter at 125% and 131% compared to the fourth quarter of 2020. 

15-micron BOPA film dropped 8% to stand at 124% and 20-micron BOPP film dropped 11% and is now at 113%, standing at the level closest to the original reference price. 

The 12-micron PET film fell just 4 percent in the last quarter and is now at 136 percent.

According to David Buckby, senior analyst at Wood Mackenzie, "The decline in prices is due to continued weakness in order volumes, a function of low demand from European consumers and easing inventories. In addition, certain substrate markets are experiencing global overcapacity as a result of large increases in the amount of production capacity in recent years." 

Forecast for the future

It is likely that some substrate prices will continue to fall in the fourth quarter, and some products will achieve greater stability but the future outlook will remain uncertain.

Despite these declines, the flexible materials price basket is still at a much higher level than pre-Covid levels and continues to be volatile, so materials suppliers remain very cautious, though optimistic for 2024.

Source: Flexible Packaging Europe