PaperAge Magazine

AF&PA Releases 57th Annual Survey of Paper, Paperboard, and Pulp Capacity

Paper Capacity

May 11, 2017 - The American Forest & Paper Association (AF&PA) today released the 57th Annual Survey of Paper, Paperboard and Pulp Capacity, reporting that U.S. paper and paperboard capacity declined 1.3 percent in 2016, in line with the long-term decline rate of 1.3 percent per year since 2001.

Containerboard capacity continued to expand during recent years, increasing 1.4 percent in 2016 to a record 38.2 million tons. Containerboard accounted for 45 percent of U.S. paper and paperboard capacity in 2016, up from 36 percent in 2000. Tissue paper capacity has also been trending upward, expanding 0.7 percent in 2016 to 8.7 million tons.

Reflecting displacement from digital communications, capacity for newsprint and printing-writing papers continued to decline in 2016. Some of the capacity reductions in printing-writing papers are due to conversion of machines to produce fluff pulp and other paper products.

Survey responses indicate total paper and paperboard capacity will decrease 0.4 percent in 2017.

The annual survey reports U.S. industry capacity data for 2016 and 2017 for all major grades of paper, paperboard and pulp, as well as fiber consumption, based on a comprehensive survey of all U.S. pulp and paper mills. Survey data includes responses from companies representing more than 88 percent of U.S. paper and paperboard industry capacity, with estimates completing the data set.

The complete survey with detailed tables is available for $2,130. Please contact Kory Bockman at or (202) 463-4716 for this report as well as other industry reports published by AF&PA.

The American Forest & Paper Association (AF&PA) serves to advance a sustainable U.S. pulp, paper, packaging, and wood products manufacturing industry through fact-based public policy and marketplace advocacy. AF&PA member companies make products essential for everyday life from renewable and recyclable resources and are committed to continuous improvement through the industry's sustainability initiative — Better Practices, Better Planet 2020.

The forest products industry accounts for approximately 4 percent of the total U.S. manufacturing GDP, manufactures approximately $200 billion in products annually, and employs nearly 900,000 men and women. The industry meets a payroll of approximately $50 billion annually and is among the top 10 manufacturing sector employers in 45 states. Visit AF&PA online at or follow us on Twitter @ForestandPaper.

SOURCE: American Forest & Paper Association (AF&PA)