UFS Capacity Shuts Could Boost Paper Machine Operating Rate Over 96% in 2014

There's a strong possibility that by the summer of 2014 the uncoated freesheet (UFS) paper mill operating rate could be between 96.5% and 100%.

Oct. 1, 2013 - Before next summer in North America, the uncoated freesheet (UFS) paper mill operating rate should range between 96.5% and 100% if nearly one million tons per year of capacity is shut down over the next six months, as recently proposed, according to market analysts at RISI.

The operating rate so far this year (year-to-date) is at 91%, RISI added.

RISI pointed to the announcement last month by International Paper (IP) that it would permanently close its Courtland, Alabama mill, including three UFS machines with 765,000 tons/of capacity. About half that capacity is to be eliminated by year-end and the other half by March 2014, RISI said.

RISI also noted that "next month and potentially in November or December, Boise Paper and Georgia-Pacific (G-P) plan shuts that would eliminate 210,000 tons/yr of UFS paper capacity on three PMs." Boise said it would shut two machines with almost 120,000 tons/yr of capacity at its International Falls, Minnesota, mill and G-P would shut about a 93,000 tons/yr paper machine at Crossett, Arkansas, RISI explained.