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



Containerboard production was up 5.1 percent compared to October 2016. The month-over-month average daily production compared to September 2017 was 3.1 percent higher. The containerboard operating rate for October increased from 95.9 percent to 101.3 percent, which was 6 percentage points higher than October of last year.

Year-to-date production of containerboard for export is up 3.5 percent, with the October volume surging 16.2 percent above the same month last year.

Printing-Writing Paper Report

According to the October 2017 printing-writing monthly report from the American Forest & Paper Association, total printing-writing paper shipments decreased seven percent in October compared to October 2016. Shipments of uncoated free sheet managed a year-over-year increase but this was more than offset by decreases in the remaining three major printing-writing grades. U.S. purchases of printing-writing papers also decreased, down nine percent in October. Total printing-writing paper inventory levels decreased nine percent from September 2017.

•October uncoated free sheet (UFS) paper shipments increased year-over-year for the second time this year. Imports of UFS decreased by 12 percent year-over-year in September – the fourth consecutive decrease of 12 percent or more. Meanwhile, exports of UFS papers continue to climb, up 26 percent year-over-year in September, the fifth consecutive increase of 17 percent or higher.
•Recent mill shuts leave coated free sheet (CFS) paper shipments down year-over-year. This is a significant change from the previous month’s peak for the year, as two recent mill shuts factor in to the decline this month. U.S. imports of CFS papers decreased 17 percent year-over-year in September, the third consecutive year-over-year decline. Meanwhile, exports of CFS papers increased 4 percent year-over-year in September, the seventh increase in the past nine months.
•Coated mechanical (CM) paper shipments declined year-over-year in October for the fifth consecutive month. Imports of CM increased in September, up 23 percent compared to September 2016. Exports of CM decreased, down 9 percent in September to 24,200 tons – the lowest level in more than 5 years.
•Shipments of uncoated mechanical (UM) papers have declined year-over-year in every month when compared to the same month in 2016. Imports of UM decreased 13 percent year-over-year in September and exports of UM decreased 4 percent year-over-year in September.

Boxboard Report

Total boxboard production increased 3.5 percent when compared to October 2016 and increased 3.0 percent from September.

Unbleached Kraft Boxboard production increased over the same month a year ago and increased compared to September.

Total Solid Bleached Boxboard & Liner production increased when compared to October 2016 and increased compared to September.

The production of Recycled Boxboard increased compared to October 2016 and increased when compared to September.

U.S. Packaging Papers & Specialty Packaging

Total Packaging Papers shipments were 223,400 tons, 1.6 percent lower than October 2016.

Bag & Sack shipments are up 3.3 percent year-to-date, while Food Wrapping shipments are down 7.1 percent over the same period. The operating rate for October 2017 was 85.5 percent, while the year-to-date rate was 88.3 percent. Inventories were 167,800 tons, down slightly since September.

Published in the January 2018 Edition