AF&PA Releases January 2019 Reports

Industry News

Containerboard production decreased one percent compared to January 2018.


Containerboard production decreased one percent compared to January 2018. The month-over-month average daily production compared to December 2018 was 3.5 percent lower. The containerboard operating rate was 93.1 percent, 1.8 percentage points lower than the same month last year. Production for export was 16.6 percent lower than January 2018, dropping below 400 thousand short tons for the first time since June 2017.

Printing-Writing Paper

According to the January 2019 Printing-Writing Monthly report from AF&PA, total printing-writing paper shipments decreased eight percent in January compared to January 2018. Total printing-writing paper inventory levels increased three percent from December 2018.

  • U.S. purchases of uncoated free sheet (UFS) paper decreased seven percent in January from the same month one year ago. The inventory level of UFS papers increased two percent in January compared to December.
  • U.S. purchases of coated free sheet (CFS) papers decreased two percent in January when compared to January 2018. Inventories meanwhile remained essentially flat compared to last month.
  • U.S. purchases of uncoated mechanical (UM) papers decreased one percent year-over-year in January.
  • U.S. purchases of coated mechanical (CM) paper increased seven percent in January. Inventory levels at the end of January when compared to December increased for both grades of paper.

U.S. Packaging Papers & Specialty Packaging

Total Packaging Papers shipments were up 4.5 percent from January 2018. Bag & Sack shipments were down 2.5 percent month-over-month; Multiwall shipments were up 12 percent; Converting shipments were up 12.2 percent; and Food Wrapping shipments were up 2.4 percent. The operating rate for January increased to 92.5 percent compared to 87.0 percent in December 2018. Inventories decreased 2.4 percent since December and were 1.3 percent lower than the same month last year.


Total boxboard monthly production increased 4.1 percent when compared to January 2018. The total boxboard operating rate was 96.8 percent for January. Total Solid Bleached Boxboard and Liner production was up 10.0 percent year to date; Recycled Boxboard production rose 2.1 percent year to date; and Unbleached Kraft and Gypsum declined 1.3 percent year to date.

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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)