Folding Carton Shipments Up in 2003

ALEXANDRIA, VA, USA—After two years of registering negative growth, the folding carton industry recently took a turn for the better, says the Paperboard Packaging Council (PPC). According to the trade group, April marked the third consecutive month in 2003 to show year-over-year increases in shipments.

A recent PPC release reports US folding carton shipments for the month of April increased a modest 1.4 percent in sales when compared to April 2002. "When comparing year-to-date data, 2003 sales—as measured by shipments—increased 1.8 percent overall, compared to January through April 2002," states PPC. "Shipments measured by tons show a larger 4.0 percent increase, indicating that, while the volume of shipments grew, prices continue to be compressed by market forces." PPC adds the average value per ton decreased by -0.7 in April year-over-year and decreased -2.1 percent year-to-date when comparing this year's data to 2002.

The stability of demand (measured in recent months), predicts PPC, "offers a promising sign for the economy as a whole, since many economists regard folding carton shipments as a leading indicator of customer purchases."

Results cited by PPC are based on data from its industry statistics program, which records monthly folding carton shipments and orders. PPC adds that participants in this program are PPC members and represent a significant portion of the folding carton market. For more information, contact Melissa Teates, director of PPC's industry information and research at 703/836-3300, or by email at mteates@ppcnet.org. Visit PPC at ppcnet.org.



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