North American Containerboard Demand Up in December
Feb. 14, 2006 - The Pulp and Paper Products Council (PPPC) said that in 2005, December marked the first month since January that North American containerboard demand has been positive, up 2.1% compared to the same month in 2004 with linerboard demand up 3.3% and medium demand down 0.2%. This increase in demand was met exclusively with domestic deliveries up 81,000 tonnes or 3.2% as imports from overseas declined by 26,000 tonnes compared to December 2004.
According to PPPC, North American containerboard production decreased by 0.1% year-over-year in December, resulting in a 93% operating rate, which is the same level as last year.
Inventories held at North American mills and box plants totaled 2.27 million tonnes at the end of
December, an increase of 80,000 tonnes over the previous month and a drop of 416,000 tonnes
compared to the same month last year.
In December, North American boxboard demand increased by 3.6% compared to the same month last
year. Canadian demand declined by 0.3%, while US demand increased by 3.8%, or 36,000 tonnes. North
American boxboard mills operated at 89% of their capacity, 4% higher than in December 2004, PPPC said.
North American kraft paper demand contracted by 3.9% in December compared to the corresponding
month in 2004, falling to 167,000 tonnes, with declines registered in both bleached kraft paper (-7.3%)
and unbleached kraft paper (-2.9%).
In December, North American kraft paper mills registered the same shipment-to-capacity ratio as December 2004, showing an average operating rate of 83%.
North American kraft paper inventories totaled 131,000 tonnes at the end of December, which is the same level as last month and a decrease of 3,000 tonnes compared to December 2004. At current shipping rates, it is estimated that producers held 24 days of supply at month end.
SOURCE: Pulp and Paper Products Council