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North American Packaging Demand Fell in November

Jan. 5, 2006 (Press Release) - In November, North American containerboard demand declined by 3.2% compared to the same month last year, the Pulp and Paper Products Council reported.

Linerboard demand was down 2.9% while medium demand was down 3.7%. North American containerboard production decreased by 1.7% year-over-year in November, resulting in a 93% production-to-capacity ratio, which is 3.0% lower than the same month last year. In November, total inventories held at North American mills and box plants dropped to their lowest level since January 1995, reaching 2.19 million tonnes at month end. This is 28,000 tonnes lower than the previous month, and a drop of 470,000 tonnes compared to the same month last year.

In November, North American boxboard demand declined by 0.9% compared to the same month last year. Canadian demand declined by 3.0%, or 2,000 tonnes while US demand declined by 0.7%, or 8,000 tonnes. North American boxboard mills operated at 93% of their capacity, the same level as in November 2004.

North American kraft paper demand continued to decline in November, falling 10.3% or 20,000 tonnes compared to the corresponding month in 2004. Unbleached kraft paper demand was down 10.9% and bleached kraft paper demand was down 8.1%. For the month, North American kraft paper mills registered a 4% decline in shipment-to-capacity ratio compared to November 2004, showing an average operating rate of 91%. North American kraft paper inventories totaled 131,000 tonnes at the end of November, a decrease of 4,000 tonnes over last month and an increase of 14,000 tonnes compared to the same month last year. At current shipping rates, it is estimated that producers held 23 days of supply at month end.

SOURCE: Pulp and Paper Products Council




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