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

Containerboard

Containerboard production was 2.0 percent higher compared to August 2016. The month-over-month average daily production compared to July 2017 was 1.0 percent lower.

The containerboard operating rate for August decreased from 97.9 percent to 96.9 percent, which was 0.8 percentage points higher compared to August of last year. Year-to-date production of containerboard for export is up 4.4 percent.

Printing-Writing Paper Report

According to the August 2017 Printing-Writing Monthly report from the American Forest & Paper Association, total printing-writing paper shipments decreased four percent in August compared to August 2016. Uncoated free sheet paper shipments increased in August while the other three printing-writing grades posted year-over-year shipment declines. U.S. purchases of printing-writing papers also decreased, down seven percent in August. Total printing-writing paper inventory levels decreased three percent from July 2017.

•August uncoated free sheet (UFS) paper shipments increased year-over-year for the first time since August 2016. The August shipments of UFS also hit the highest monthly total since March 2016. Imports of UFS decreased by 28 percent year-over-year in July – the second consecutive decrease of 20 percent or more. Meanwhile, exports of UFS papers increased 30 percent year-over-year in July, which is the third consecutive increase of 20 percent or more.
•August shipments of coated free sheet (CFS) papers declined. And while shipments of coated two-sides #1-#2 also decreased year-over-year in August, they still reached the highest monthly total thus far in 2017. U.S. imports of CFS papers decreased 13 percent year-over-year in July; it is the first year-over-year decline in 2017. Exports of CFS papers increased 11 percent year-over-year in July, the fifth increase in the past seven months.
•Coated mechanical (CM) paper shipments declined year-over-year in August, but reach third highest level in 2017. Imports of CM increased in July, up 11 percent compared to July 2016, while exports of CM decreased 20 percent in July.
•While shipments of uncoated mechanical (UM) papers declined year-over-year in August, the export data registered a year-over-year increase in July. Imports of UM decreased 3 percent year-over-year in July while exports of UM increased 10 percent year-over-year in July – the fourth year-over-year increase in the first seven months of 2017.

Boxboard Report

Total boxboard production increased 2.9 percent when compared to August 2016, and increased 0.7 percent from July.

Unbleached Kraft Boxboard production increased over the same month as last year and increased compared to July.

Total Solid Bleached Boxboard & Liner production increased when compared to August 2016, but decreased compared to July.

The production of Recycled Boxboard decreased compared to August 2016, but increased when compared to July.

U.S. Packaging Papers & Specialty Packaging

Total Packaging Papers shipments were 235,900 tons, 1.7 percent lower than August 2016. Bag & Sack shipments were up 5.5 percent year-to-date, while Food Wrapping shipments were down 8.5 percent over the same period. The operating rate for August 2017 was 90.3 percent, while the year-to-date rate was 88.8 percent. Inventories were 168,600 tons, down slightly since July.

Published in the November 2017 Edition of American Recycler News