Printing & Writing Paper Shipments Down 20% in June

July 21, 2009 - The American Forest & Paper Association today reported total printing-writing paper shipments decreased 19.6% in June 2009 compared to June 2008. For the year to date, shipments were down 22.7%.

According to AF&PA's June 2009 Printing-Writing Paper Report, U.S. purchases (shipments + imports exports) of printing-writing papers dropped 21.8% in June versus year-ago June and declined 24.1% for the year to date.

Total printing-writing paper inventory levels in June decreased 22,600 tons, or 1.1%, from May, as uncoated paper inventory declines more than offset coated papers inventory increases.

Coated Free Sheet
First half 2009 uncoated free sheet (UFS) shipments were lower than first half 2008. UFS shipments were down 15.6% compared to June 2008, to 815,500 tons. While the June decrease is the largest in the past four months, June 2008 shipments were the second highest recorded in 2008 — the highest was January 2008.

For the first half of 2009, UFS shipments were 15.2% below last year. U.S. purchases of UFS were also down, declining 16.1% when compared to June 2008.

UFS inventories decreased 4.8% compared to last month, a decline of 51,800 tons.

Coated Free Sheet
Coated free sheet (CFS) shipments declined sharply for the sixth consecutive month. CFS shipments dropped by 27.5% compared to June 2008, to 280,900 tons. For the year to date, shipments of CFS were down 29.0%. U.S. purchases of CFS decreased even more, down 33.8% compared to last June and were off 32.1% for the year to date.

CFS inventories increased 5.3% compared to May, an increase of 32,600 tons.

Coated Mechanical
The decline in coated mechanical (CM) shipments slowed, but remained in double-digits. CM shipments fell 16.6% when compared to June 2008, settling in at 280,700 tons. Year to date shipments of CM were down 32.7% compared to last year. U.S. purchases of CM were down 20.2% compared to June 2008, and for the year to date were down 33.6%.

CM inventories increased 2.4%, or 6,900 tons, from last month.

Uncoated Mechanical
Uncoated mechanical (UM) shipments declined by more than 20% compared to 2008 for all six months of 2009. UM shipments decreased 28.8% when compared to June 2008, to 142,400 tons, and for the year to date were down 27.6%. U.S. purchases of UM were down 24.5% when compared to June 2008 and were down 25.0% for the year to date.

UM inventories decreased 10.2%, or 10,400 tons, from May.

SOURCE: American Forest & Paper Association

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