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Total U.S. Packaging Papers & Specialty Packaging Shipments Decreased 5 Percent in May 2023

kraft paper specialty packaging

June 16, 2023 - The American Forest & Paper Association (AF&PA) released the May 2023 Packaging Papers Monthly report. According to the report, total packaging papers & specialty packaging shipments in May decreased 5% compared to May 2022. They were down 4% when compared to the same 5 months of 2022.

  • Shipments of the biggest subgrade in unbleached packaging papers — bag & sack — were 89,800 short tons for the month of May.
  • The bleached packaging papers operating rate was 76.6%, up 0.5 points from May 2022 and down 4.8 points year-to-date.

The complete report with detailed tables, charts and historical data can be purchased by contacting Kory Bockman at or 202-463-4716.

About AF&PA

The American Forest & Paper Association (AF&PA) serves to advance U.S. paper and wood products manufacturers through fact-based public policy and marketplace advocacy. The forest products industry is circular by nature. AF&PA member companies make essential products from renewable and recycle resources, generate renewable bioenergy and are committed to continuous improvement through the industry's sustainability initiative — Better Practices, Better Planet 2030: Sustainable Products for a Sustainable Future.

The forest products industry accounts for approximately 5% of the total U.S. manufacturing GDP, manufactures about $350 billion in products annually and employs about 925,000 people. The industry meets a payroll of about $65 billion annually and is among the top 10 manufacturing sector employers in 43 states.


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