The American Forest & Paper Association released its December U.S. paper reports.
Containerboard production increased 4 percent over November 2013 and was 2.7 percent lower compared to the same month last year. The month-over-month average daily production increased 0.7 percent. The containerboard operating rate for December 2013 increased 0.7 points from November 2013, from 90.7 percent to 91.4 percent.
Total boxboard production increased 1.4 percent when compared to December 2012 and increased 1.1 percent from November. Unbleached Kraft Boxboard production decreased over the same month last year and decreased compared to last month. Total Solid Bleached Boxboard & Liner production increased compared to December 2012 and increased compared to November. The production of Recycled Boxboard was flat compared to December 2012 and decreased when compared to November.
Total Kraft paper shipments were 125.5 thousand tons, 9.4 percent higher compared to November. Bleached Kraft paper shipments increased year-over-year 6.2 percent, but the 2.6 percent year-over-year decline in unbleached Kraft paper shipments was enough to bring overall Kraft paper shipments down 1.5 percent year-over-year. Total month-end inventories were essentially flat compared to November 2013.
Printing-Writing Paper Report
According to the report, total printing-writing paper shipments increased 2 percent in December compared to December 2012, with increases in uncoated papers more than offsetting decreases in coated grades. Additional key findings:
- Uncoated free sheet (UFS) paper shipments in December increased year-over-year for the fourth time in the last six months, with shipments 4 percent ahead of December 2012. For the year, uncoated free sheet shipments were 2 percent below 2012 levels. In December increased year-over-year for the fourth time in the last six months, with shipments 4 percent ahead of December 2012. For the year, uncoated free sheet shipments were 2 percent below 2012 levels.
- December coated free sheet (CFS) papers shipments decreased 4 percent compared to December 2012, with 2013 shipments down 2 percent relative to the same twelve months of 2012.
- Uncoated mechanical (UM) paper shipments increased 12 percent in December compared to December 2012, the fourth consecutive month of year-over-year increases.
- Coated mechanical (CM) shipments of 244,500 tons in December decreased 1 percent compared to December 2012 and were down 9 percent for the year in 2013.