PaperAge Magazine

Total U.S. Printing-Writing Paper Shipments Decreased Five Percent in September

Rolls of paper September uncoated free sheet (UFS) paper shipments decreased year-over-year following the year-over-year increase in August.

Oct. 21, 2017 - According to the September 2017 Printing-Writing Monthly report from the American Forest & Paper Association, total printing-writing paper shipments decreased five percent in September compared to September 2016. All four of the major printing-writing grades posted year-over-year shipment declines. U.S. purchases of printing-writing papers also decreased, down six percent in September. Total printing-writing paper inventory levels increased one-half of one percent from August.

September uncoated free sheet (UFS) paper shipments decreased year-over-year following the year-over-year increase in August. Imports of UFS decreased by 18% year-over-year in August — this follows two consecutive decreases of 20% or more. Meanwhile, exports of UFS papers increased 17% year-over-year in August, which follows three consecutive increases of 20% or more.

Operating rate for coated free sheet (CFS) paper producers in September hits highest level since September 2016. U.S. imports of CFS papers decreased 9% year-over-year in August, the second consecutive year-over-year decline. Exports of CFS papers increased 6% year-over-year in August, the sixth increase in the past eight months.

Coated mechanical (CM) paper shipments declined year-over-year in September for the fourth consecutive month. Imports of CM increased in August, up 7% compared to August 2016. Exports of CM also increased, up 28% in August to 35,700 tons — the highest level since November 2016.

Shipments of uncoated mechanical (UM) papers have declined year-over-year in every month when compared to the same month in 2016. Imports of UM decreased 11% year-over-year in August while exports of UM increased 1% year-over-year in August — the fifth year-over-year increase in the first eight months of 2017.

The complete report with detailed tables, charts, and historical data can be purchased by contacting Kory Bockman at or 202-463-4716.

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.