Paper Products Manufacturers

Industry Profile Report

Dive Deep into the industry with a 25+ page industry report (pdf format) including the following chapters

Industry Overview Current Conditions, Industry Structure, How Firms Operate, Industry Trends, Credit Underwriting & Risks, and Industry Forecast.

Call Preparation Call Prep Questions, Industry Terms, and Weblinks.

Financial Insights Working Capital, Capital Financing, Business Valuation, and Financial Benchmarks.

Industry Profile Excerpts

Industry Overview

The 2,200 companies in the US manufacture paper products by cutting, shaping, coating, or laminating paper and other materials. End products are often referred to as converted paper goods. Product categories include paperboard containers, paper bags, coated and treated paper, stationery products, and sanitary products.

Competition From Imports

With the exception of a brief dip during the last recession, imports of converted paper products have grown at a healthy rate over the last decade.

Variability In Raw Materials’ Costs

The paper industry is cyclical and cost of wood pulp (primary material in paper manufacturing) can fluctuate depending on global supply and demand.

Industry size & Structure

A typical paper product manufacturer employs 116 workers, and generates about $50 million annually.

    • The paper product manufacturing industry consists of about 2,200 companies that employ about 264,000 workers and generate $114 billion annually.
    • The 50 largest firms account for 62% of industry revenue.
    • Some large companies are vertically integrated and own paper mills.
    • Large companies include Kimberly-Clark, WestRock (formerly RockTenn and MeadWestvaco), and Amcor (Bemis Company).
                          Industry Forecast
                          Paper Products Manufacturers Industry Growth
                          Source: Vertical IQ and Inforum

                          Recent Developments

                          Dec 2, 2022 - OCC Price Drop Offset by Higher Costs for Other Inputs
                          • Firms that use old corrugated containers (OCC) as feedstock to manufacture corrugated boxes and other product packaging have been enjoying lower OCC prices, but in some cases, those cost gains are being offset by higher prices for other inputs, according to Resource Recycling. Paper manufacturers report higher prices for energy, including electricity and natural gas, chemicals, and labor. Virgin pulp prices have also risen, which has driven up production costs for some types of products, including tissue papers.
                          • US producer prices for paper mills were up 1.5% in October month over month and increased 15.5% compared to October 2021. Paperboard mill prices increased 11% in October compared to a year earlier but were down 0.1% from September. Prices charged by pulp mills ticked up 0.7% in October over September’s prices but were 27.5% higher than they were in October 2021.
                          • Demand for e-commerce has fallen as consumers have returned to in-store shopping and pulled back on discretionary spending amid inflation and rising interest rates, according to Reuters. Weaker e-commerce demand is likely to reduce sales of corrugated boxes used in shipping. Delivery firms UPS and FedEx, and the US Postal Service, beefed up staffing and facilities to handle the extra volume earlier in the pandemic. Industry consultant Satish Jindel suggests that higher package delivery capacity could surpass peak demand by 18 million packages this holiday season.
                          • To cope with inflation and supply chain disruptions, some firms are downsizing their packaging, according to CNN. Companies are trying to trim packaging costs by making boxes and cartons smaller, thinner, or with fewer printed colors. Packaging and marketing firm RRD Packaging Solutions says about 81% of its clients have made changes to their packaging in the past year. Reducing packaging sizes can add up to smaller overall paper consumption volume and sales value.
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