AF&PA Releases March 2021 Reports

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Containerboard

Total Containerboard production in March increased nine percent compared to March 2020. It was up two percent when compared to the same three months of 2020. 

  • March 2021 production of containerboard for export decreased 15 percent compared to the same month last year; it was down 25 percent year-to-date.
  • The containerboard operating rate was 98.4 percent, up 2.8 points from March 2020 and essentially flat (-0.3 pts.) year-to-date.
  • Mill inventories of containerboard at the end of March decreased 77,000 short tons from the previous month and were down 56,000 short tons compared to March 2020.

Boxboard

Total Boxboard production in March remained essentially flat (-0.4 percent) compared to March 2020. It was down two percent when compared to the same three months of 2020.  The boxboard operating rate was 94.0 percent, up 1.4 points from March 2020 and up 1.1 points year-to-date.

  • Solid Bleached Boxboard production in March decreased four percent compared to March 2020. It was down four percent when compared to the same three months of 2020.
  • Recycled Boxboard production in March decreased three percent compared to March 2020. It was down four percent when compared to the same three months of 2020.
  • Unbleached Kraft & Gypsum production in March increased nine percent compared to March 2020. It was up three percent when compared to the same three months of 2020.

Packaging Papers

Total packaging papers & specialty packaging shipments in March increased three percent compared to March 2020. They were up three percent when compared to the same three months of 2020.

  • The operating rate was 91.0 percent, down 2.2 points from March 2020 and up 0.6 points year-to-date.
  • Mill inventories at the end of March decreased 10,000 short tons from the previous month and were up 6,000 short tons compared to March 2020.

Printing-Writing Paper

According to the report, total printing-writing paper shipments decreased 20 percent in March compared to March 2020. U.S. purchases of total printing-writing papers decreased 18 percent in March compared to the same month last year. Total printing-writing paper inventory levels decreased five percent when compared to February 2021.

  • Uncoated free sheet (UFS) paper shipments decreased 14 percent compared to March 2020 while the inventory level decreased six percent compared to February 2021. UFS imports increased five percent while exports decreased 39 percent in February 2021.
  • U.S. purchases of coated free sheet (CFS) papers in March decreased 29 percent compared to last March while the inventory level decreased six percent compared to February 2021. CFS imports and exports both decreased compared to February 2020, down 23 percent and two percent respectively.
  • Coated mechanical (CM) paper shipments decreased 40 percent compared to March 2020 while the inventory level increased two percent compared to February 2021. CM imports and exports both decreased compared to February 2020, down two percent and nine percent respectively.
  • U.S. purchases of uncoated mechanical (UM) papers in March decreased 15 percent compared to last March while the inventory level decreased eight percent compared to February 2021. UM imports remained essentially flat (-0.2 percent) while exports decreased 28 percent in February 2021.

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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 www.afandpa.org or follow us on Twitter @ForestandPaper.


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