U.S. Pulp and Paper Capacity Showing Signs of Stabilization

Total paper and paperboard capacity is expected to decline 1.0% in 2012 and then register increases of 0.6% and 0.5% in 2013 and 2014, respectively.

March 30, 2012 - The American Forest & Paper Association (AF&PA) today released the 52nd Annual Survey of Paper, Paperboard and Pulp Capacity, reporting that U.S. paper and paperboard capacity decline slowed to 1.4% in 2011 to a level of 89.7 million short tons.

Last year's decrease was smaller than the 3.1% reduction recorded in 2010. Total paper and paperboard capacity is expected to decline 1.0% in 2012 and then register increases of 0.6% and 0.5% in 2013 and 2014, respectively.

Containerboard and tissue paper capacity expanded in 2011, while the packaging & industrial converting and boxboard categories held approximately stable. Newsprint and printing-writing papers registered the largest 2011 capacity declines.

Several mills and machines were removed from the survey base during the 2011-2014 period because they have closed, plan to close, or have been idled for some time with few indications they will be restarted in the near future. However, several new tissue paper machines either started operating or will start operating by 2014, and a new recycled linerboard mill is scheduled to come on line in mid-2013.

The survey reports U.S. industry capacity data for 2011 through 2014 for all major grades of paper, paperboard, and pulp, based on a comprehensive survey of all U.S. pulp and paper mills. Survey respondents represent about 90% of the U.S industry capacity.

The complete survey with detailed tables can be purchased for $1,800 by contacting Dina Menton at dina_menton@afandpa.org or 202-463-2710.

The American Forest & Paper Association (www.afandpa.org) is the national trade association of the forest products industry, representing pulp, paper, packaging and wood products manufacturers, and forest landowners.

The forest products industry accounts for approximately 5 percent of the total U.S. manufacturing GDP. Industry companies produce about $175 billion in products annually and employ nearly 900,000 men and women, exceeding employment levels in the automotive, chemicals and plastics industries. The industry meets a payroll of approximately $50 billion annually and is among the top 10 manufacturing sector employers in 48 states.

SOURCE: AF&PA