Markets to explore: USA


Born out of the collaboration between ICE-Agency and Edizioni Dativo, the column dedicated to Italian companies operating in packaging with a keen eye to the possibilities of growth and development abroad. The network of ICE offices abroad will provide a regular update on the development of the packaging in the short/medium term in given countries.

In the period 2009-2012, the annual consumption of paper and paperboard in the United States was approximately 80 million tons. Compared to previous years, there was a decrease due to the growth of digital media in advertising and publishing, as well as the increased concern regarding the consumption of raw material, in terms of sustainability, this also in the packaging world.
The total value of US production of paper, paper pulp and paperboard in 2014 reached 85 billion dollars (latest available data, released by the US Department of Commerce).
In particular, examining US industry operating in this sector, the major users were the paper cardboard and fiber, as well as box production sectors.
As regards in particular box-, folding cardboard and cardboard cylinder manufacturers, the volume of sales in 2014 was approximately 5 million tons, to an average value of about 1776 dollars/ton. The forecasts for the next four years (2016/2019) envisage an annual increase of 1.3% in value and 0.5% in quantity.

Business models and principal markets
Among the players operating in the sector, single companies and converters not integrated upstream account for about 20% of sales, a share that is tending to shrink as a result of the general trend towards sector supply chain integration (see next page).
The compartment viewed all told however shows growth, also thanks to the fact that most cellulose-based packaging is used to package basic necessity products. Almost 60% of all cardboard packaging in fact is intended for foodstuffs: beverages, dairy products, candies and sweets, dry goods, cereals, as well as frozen meats and vegetables. The other outlet sectors this report highlights the pharmaceutical, cosmetic and personal care sectors, products for hygiene and homecare, toys, sporting goods and other items sold in supermarkets and department stores (Source: Paperboard Industry Council News).

(*)    Quota su totale import USA
(**)    Le dogane USA hanno cambiato o introdotto nuove voci doganali per il 2007.

Converting machines: Imports grow
Looking in turn at the machines for the graphics, paper and converting industry, in 2014 total US imports amounted to 2.281,9 million dollars (1,723.5 million euro), up 14.2% compared to 2013. This is confirmed by the statistics covering:
• paper or paperboard manufacture or finishing machines;
• bookbinding machines;
• paper, cardboard and paper pulp processing machines;
• character, block and platemaking machines;
• printing machines.
Germany with 24.9%, Italy with 11%, Switzerland with 8.9%, Israel 8.2%, and China with 8.1%, are reconfirmed as the main foreign suppliers of the United States, covering all-told around 60% of imports.
Germany remains the leading supplier of the US market with 24.9% of imports.
(Table 1 and 2 – ICE Chicago processing on data of the US Department of Commerce).
After registering a significant drop in sales in 2012 (-4.4%), which continued, although less markedly, in the following year (-2.3%), in 2014 it rebounded with a growth of 14.2% and thus touching the value of 567.1 million dollars (428.3 million euros).
Much the same trend for Italy (Table 3), firmly in second place among supplier countries to the US; the percentage of purchases from Italian manufacturers has remained at around 9-10% over the last 6 years. After an increase in 2012 (+14.6%) followed by the sharp decline in 2013 (-25%), Italian companies registered a very sharp recovery in 2014 (+ 41.1%), with sales totalling 251.4 million dollars (189.9 million euros).
NOTE  The project is coordinated ICE-Italian Trade Agency headquarters in Rome, by the Industrial Technology, – Energy and Environment office headed by Ferdinando Pastore. Contacts: Matteo Masini,
tel 06.5992.9356 –


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