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The American Forest & Paper Association released its February U.S. paper reports.

Containerboard production decreased 8 percent from January and was 2 percent higher compared to the same month last year. The month-over-month average daily production increased 1.9 percent. Shipments for February were 2,692.1 tons. The containerboard operating rate for February increased 1.8 points from January, from 94.6 percent to 96.4 percent.

Total boxboard production decreased 1.3 percent when compared to February 2013 and decreased 8 percent from January. Unbleached kraft boxboard production in February decreased over the same month last year and decreased compared to January.
Total solid bleached boxboard and liner production decreased compared to February 2013 and decreased compared to last month. The production of recycled boxboard increased compared to February 2013 but decreased when compared to January.

Kraft Paper
Total kraft paper shipments were 121.6 thousand tons, 5.1 percent lower compared to the prior month. Bleached kraft paper shipments were 3 percent lower than January, while unbleached kraft paper shipments were down 5.3 percent. Overall, shipments for the first two months of 2014 were 4.5 percent lower than the same period last year. Total month-end inventories decreased 8.8 percent compared to January.

Printing-Writing Paper Report
Total printing-writing paper shipments decreased 3 percent in February compared to February 2013, with total inventories decreasing 3 percent from January levels.

Additional key findings:
•Uncoated free sheet (UFS) paper shipments in February decreased 5 percent compared to February 2013. YTD shipments are down 8 percent in 2014.
•February coated free sheet (CFS) papers shipments were down 1 percent compared to the same period in 2013.
•Uncoated mechanical (UM) paper shipments increased 7 percent in February, the fifth year-over-year increase in the past six months. Year-to-date shipments of UM are up 2 percent compared to 2013.
•Coated mechanical (CM) shipments in February decreased 6 percent compared to February 2013. Imports of CM in January were down 16 percent relative to the same period in 2013.

Published in the May 2014 Edition of American Recycler News