AF&PA Says Printing-Writing Paper Shipments Down

Nov. 28, 2008 - According to the American Forest & Paper Associationís October 2008 Printing-Writing Report, total printing-writing paper shipments decreased 12.7% in October compared to October 2007. The October year-ago decline is the largest year-ago decline this year, followed by an 11.2% decline in August. U.S. purchases of printing-writing papers dropped 14.1% in October versus year-ago. Total printing-writing paper inventory levels remained essentially flat, decreasing 300 tons from September.

Uncoated mechanical shipments decline for second consecutive month following eight consecutive months of increases. UM shipments decreased 2.5% when compared to October, 2007. UM shipments have had six months of double-digit increases, two months of single-digit increases, and now two consecutive months of slight declines. U.S. purchases of UM are down 8.1% when compared to October, 2007. UM inventories decreased 9.7%, or 8,900 tons, from September, the lowest inventory level of the year.

Uncoated free sheet shipments decreased for tenth consecutive month. UFS shipments fell 10.7% compared to October, 2007, on the heels of nine year-ago declines. The latest decline is the third double-digit decline for the year, which leaves this year 6.7% below last year. U.S. purchases of UFS were also down, declining 9.5% when compared to October, 2007. UFS inventories decreased 0.2% compared to last month, a drop of 2,000 tons.

Coated free sheet shipments register second double-digit decline for the year. CFS shipments dropped by 15.4% compared to October, 2007. The decline is the largest in a series of year-ago declines as all of 2008 has trailed 2007 thus far, putting year-to-date shipments down 7.3%. U.S. purchases of CFS decreased 20.6% compared to last October. CFS inventories decreased 0.5% compared to September, a decrease of 2,300 tons.

Coated mechanical shipments decreased the most in October, its sixth consecutive decline. CM shipments fell 19.4% when compared to October, 2007. In spite of the large year-ago decline, year-to-date shipments are down 5.9% compared to last year. U.S. purchases of CM were down 23.0% compared to October, 2007. CM inventories increased 3.7%, or 9,900 tons, from last month.


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