U.S. Containerboard Production Up Sharply in January

Feb. 22, 2010 - According to the American Forest & Paper Associationís January 2010 U.S. Containerboard Statistics Report, total containerboard production increased sharply, up 335,500 tons, or 13.8%, when compared to January 2009. This follows an upward trend set in December 2009.

Containerboard production in January increased compared to December 2009, and the daily average percent change was up 1.1%.

Operating rates for January 2010 rose 15.3 points to 93.1% over January 2009.

AF&PA noted that the recent reduction in capacity is reflected in the current operating rates.

Linerboard production also saw a large increase over last year, rising 14.1% from January 2009. The current linerboard production saw a slight increase compared to December 2009 and the daily average rose 1.5%. Once again production for exports showed a substantial increase of 72.4% over this time last year, but was down 11.7% compared to December 2009, AF&PA said.

Linerboardís January operating rate mirrors the rise, increasing 15.0 points to 92.5%.

Medium production in January 2010 was up 88,600 tons or 12.9% from same month last year. Production was flat compared to December 2009, which was reflected in the daily average percent change which rose just 0.1%. Exports as well, showed a sizeable increase, posting a 33.2% growth over January 2009.

The January medium operating rate showed the largest gain increasing 16.3 points over January 2009.

NOTE: The operating rates and capacity for January 2010 have been adjusted to reflect the permanent closure of the following Smurfit-Stone Container mills; Missoula, Montana and Ontonagon, Michigan. The data have been prorated to account for the number of operating days in January.

SOURCE: American Forest & Paper Association

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