The report featured revised data based on findings from the 59th Annual Capacity Survey released May 15. Containerboard production in April 2019 decreased 5.3 percent compared to April 2018 and was down 4.1 percent year-to-date. The average daily production compared to March 2019 was 3.1 percent higher.
The containerboard operating rate bounced back above 90 percent due to the high rate for medium (96.5 percent), while the liner operating rate was at 89.6 percent. In spite of the bounce back, the April operating rate was 6.2 points lower than the same month last year, and the year-to-date operating rate was down 5.8 points compared to last year. Production for export, most of which is liner, was down nearly 20 percent year-over-year and was also down 20.5 percent year-to-date.
Packaging Papers & Specialty Packaging
The report featured revised data based on findings from the 59th Annual Capacity Survey released May 15. Total packaging papers shipments were down 3.7 percent from April 2018 and down 1.4 percent year-to-date. Bag & sack shipments were down 1.1 percent year-to-date, multiwall shipments were down 3.6 percent, food wrapping shipments were up 0.5 percent, and converting shipments were down 1.4 percent. The operating rate for April decreased to 88.5 percent compared to 90.0 percent in March. Inventory levels increased 1.7 percent from March.
Total boxboard monthly production decreased 3.0 percent when compared to April 2018. The total boxboard operating rate was 95.4 percent for April. Total Solid Bleached Boxboard and Liner production was up 2.5 percent year to date; Recycled Boxboard production rose 1.7 percent year to date; and Unbleached Kraft & Gypsum declined 2.0 percent year to date.
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.