AF&PA Releases July 2019 Reports

Market analysis


Containerboard production in July 2019 decreased 7.8 percent compared to July 2018 and was down 5.3 percent year-to-date. The average daily production compared to June 2019 was 2.5 percent higher.

The containerboard operating rate increased from 89.1 percent in June to 89.9 percent. While the total linerboard rate increased to 88.0 percent, it has been below 90 percent in five out of seven months this year. The July total operating rate was 8.7 points lower than the same month last year and the year-to-date operating rate was down 6.6 points. Production for export, most of which is linerboard, was down 18.3 percent month-over-month and was down 18.5 percent year-to-date.


Total boxboard monthly production decreased 1.0 percent when compared to July 2018. The total boxboard operating rate was 93.8 percent for July. Total Solid Bleached Boxboard and Liner production decreased 0.9 percent year to date; Recycled Boxboard production fell 1.0 year to date; and Unbleached Kraft and Gypsum decreased 0.5 percent year to date.

Packaging Papers & Specialty Packaging

TTotal packaging papers shipments were down 13.0 percent from July 2018 and down 4.6 percent year-to-date. Bag and sack shipments were down 3.1 percent year-to-date; multiwall shipments were down 11.8 percent; food wrapping shipments were up 4.1 percent; and converting shipments were down 7.1 percent. The operating rate for July dropped to 81.6 percent compared to 86.2 percent in June. Inventory levels decreased one percent from June.

Printing-Writing Paper

According to the July 2019 Printing-Writing Monthly report from AF&PA, total printing-writing paper shipments decreased 12 percent in July compared to July 2018. U.S. purchases of total printing-writing papers declined seven percent in July compared to the same month last year. Total printing-writing paper inventory levels decreased one percent from June 2019.

  • U.S. shipments of coated free sheet (CFS) paper decreased 15 percent in July from the same month one year ago. The inventory level of CFS papers remained flat in July compared to June. CFS imports and exports both declined in June 2019.
  • U.S. purchases of coated mechanical (CM) papers increased five percent in July when compared to July 2018. Inventories decreased three percent compared to last month. Imports of CM papers in June 2019 increased 16 percent while exports decreased ten percent.
  • U.S. shipments of uncoated free sheet (UFS) papers decreased 11 percent year-over-year in July while U.S. purchases of uncoated mechanical (UM) paper decreased nine percent. Inventory levels at the end of July when compared to June decreased for both UFS and UM papers. In June exports of UFS and UM both decreased year-over-year, while UFS imports increased and UM imports decreased.

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The American Forest & Paper Association (AF&PA) serves to advance a sustainable U.S. pulp, paper, packaging, and wood products manufacturing industry through fact-based public policy and marketplace advocacy. AF&PA member companies make products essential for everyday life from renewable and recyclable resources and are committed to continuous improvement through the industry's sustainability initiative - Better Practices, Better Planet 2020. The forest products industry accounts for approximately 4 percent of the total U.S. manufacturing GDP, manufactures about $210 billion in products annually, and employs nearly 900,000 men and women. The industry meets a payroll of approximately $50 billion annually and is among the top 10 manufacturing sector employers in 47 states. Visit AF&PA online at or follow us on Twitter @ForestandPaper.

Source: The American Forest & Paper Association (AF&PA)