AF&PA: paper news roundup

AF&PA: Paper news roundup

According to recently-released figures from the American Forest & Paper Association, total production and shipment figures were a mixed bag for boxboard, containerboard, Kraft paper, printed-writing paper and recovered paper in August 2012.

Total boxboard production dipped 0.8 percent compared to August 2011 but increased 2.2 percent from last month. Unbleached Kraft boxboard production also dropped over the same month last year and decreased compared to last month. However, the production of recycled boxboard increased compared to August 2011 and increased when compared to last month.

Containerboard production rose 2.2 percent over July 2012 levels and was flat when compared to the same month last year. The month-over-month average daily production also increased 2.2 percent. The containerboard operating rate for August 2012 jumped 2.1 points over July 2012, from 95.4 percent to 97.5 percent.

Kraft paper shipments were 133,000 tons in August, a decrease of 3.6 percent compared to the prior month. Total inventory was 77,800 tons this month and both unbleached and bleached Kraft shipments decreased year-over-year (YOY).

According to the report, total printing-writing paper shipments dropped 5 percent in August compared to August 2011. Too, all four major printing-writing grades posted single-digit decreases compared to last August. U.S. purchases of printing-writing papers also decreased, down 6 percent in August. Total printing-writing paper inventory levels decreased 5 percent from last month, primarily due to double-digit decreases in mechanical-grade paper inventories.

Total U.S. industry consumption of recovered paper in August was 2.56 million tons, a 6 percent jump from 2012. Year-to-date total consumption in 2012 is 4 percent lower YOY. U.S. exports of recovered paper, as reported by the U.S. Census Bureau, increased 5 percent in July compared to June, led by a 14 percent increase in mixed paper exports. Year-to-date exports of recovered paper in 2012 are 6 percent lower than during the same period in 2011.

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