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The Final Word by Chuck Swann
The American Forest & Paper Association released its July paper production statistics for printing-writing, paperboard, containerboard and kraft papers.

Printing-writing Papers

According to the report, total printing-writing paper shipments decreased 8.0% in July, compared to July 2014, with inventory levels increasing 2.0% from June.

Uncoated free sheet paper shipments in July decreased 2.0% compared to July 2014, with imports of UFS increasing 26% year over year in June.

July coated free sheet paper shipments decreased 12% compared to July 2014. Imports of CFS papers increased less than 1.0% in June, with exports down 15%.

Uncoated mechanical paper shipments were down 14%, compared with July 2014. Imports of UM papers were down 12% in June, the 12th consecutive monthly decline. Inventories of UM were up 10% in July.

Coated mechanical shipments in July were down 18% compared to July 2014. Imports of CM were up 9.0% in June, while exports of CM were down 19%, the first decrease in six months.

Total boxboard production was down 2.8% when compared to July 2014, but up 2.7% from the previous month. Unbleached kraft boxboard production was up over the same month of 2014, but up from the previous month. Total solid bleached boxboard and liner production were down when compared to July 2014, up from the previous month. Production of recycled boxboard was flat compared to July 2014, but up from the previous month.


Containerboard production was 1.8% higher than in July of last year. Month-over-month average daily production compared to June 2015 was 0.2% lower. The containerboard operating rate for July fell to 96.3% from June's 97.5%.

Kraft Paper

Total kraft paper shipments were 147.2 thousand short tons, 9.4% more than in July 2014. Bleached kraft paper shipments fell from 10.9 thousand short tons in June 2015 to 8.6, while unbleached kraft papers remained essentially flat at 138.6 thousand short tons. Overall, year-to-date shipments through July 2015 were 1.0% greater than in the same period of 2014. Total month-end inventories rose to 77.4 thousand short tons.

Chuck Swann is the senior editor of Paperitalo Publications. He can be reached by email at chuck.swann@taii.com.

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