August 2023 Sees a $537M Surge in Export of Packaging Materials From the United States
U.S. Packaging Materials Exports
In August 2023, shipments abroad of packaging materials increased by 3.5% to 631K tons for the first time since May 2023, thus ending a two-month declining trend. Overall, exports, however, showed a slight reduction. The pace of growth was the most pronounced in March 2023 with an increase of 25% against the previous month.
In value terms, packaging materials exports totaled $537M (IndexBox estimates) in August 2023. Over the period under review, exports, however, saw a noticeable descent. The pace of growth appeared the most rapid in March 2023 with an increase of 18% month-to-month.
Exports by Country
Mexico (160K tons), Canada (155K tons) and China (53K tons) were the main destinations of packaging materials exports from the United States, together comprising 58% of total exports. Guatemala, Costa Rica, Italy and Japan lagged somewhat behind, together comprising a further 14%.
From August 2022 to August 2023, the biggest increases were in Italy (with a CAGR of -0.4%), while shipments for the other leaders experienced a decline.
In value terms, the largest markets for packaging materials exported from the United States were Canada ($161M), Mexico ($145M) and China ($31M), with a combined 63% share of total exports.
Among the main countries of destination, Canada, with a CAGR of -1.4%, recorded the highest growth rate of the value of exports, over the period under review, while shipments for the other leaders experienced a decline.
Exports by Type
Paperboard case materials (428K tons) was the largest type of packaging materials exported from the United States, accounting for a 68% share of total exports. Moreover, paperboard case materials exceeded the volume of the second product type, folding boxboard (121K tons), fourfold. Wrapping paper, packaging paper and paperboard (75K tons) ranked third in terms of total exports with a 12% share.
From August 2022 to August 2023, the average monthly growth rate of the volume of export of paperboard case materials stood at -1.0%. With regard to the other exported products, the following average monthly rates of growth were recorded: folding boxboard (-3.3% per month) and wrapping paper, packaging paper and paperboard (-1.5% per month).
In value terms, the most traded types of packaging materials in the United States were paperboard case materials ($275M), folding boxboard ($165M) and wrapping paper, packaging paper and paperboard ($92M), with a combined 99% share of total exports. These products were followed by other papers packaging, which accounted for a further 0.9%.
Wrapping papers, with a CAGR of -1.9%, recorded the highest growth rate of the value of exports, in terms of the main product categories over the period under review, while shipments for the other products experienced a decline.
Export Prices by Country
In August 2023, the packaging materials price stood at $851 per ton (FOB, US), almost unchanged from the previous month. Over the period under review, the export price recorded a mild slump. The pace of growth appeared the most rapid in September 2022 an increase of 3% m-o-m. The export price peaked at $1,034 per ton in October 2022; however, from November 2022 to August 2023, the export prices failed to regain momentum.
There were significant differences in the average prices for the major foreign markets. In August 2023, the country with the highest price was Japan ($1,304 per ton), while the average price for exports to Italy ($562 per ton) was amongst the lowest.
From August 2022 to August 2023, the most notable rate of growth in terms of prices was recorded for supplies to Canada (0.0%), while the prices for the other major destinations experienced a decline.