U.S. printing-writing paper shipments decreased 7% in February 2019 compared to February 2018. Total printing-writing paper inventory levels increased 1% from January 2019. Net imports for the full year 2018 increased 26% compared to 2017, as the American Forest & Paper Association reported.
U.S. shipments of uncoated free sheet (UFS) paper decreased 6% in February from the same month one year ago. The inventory level of UFS papers remained essentially flat in February compared to January. UFS imports in 2018 increased 6% while exports finished the year 16% lower than 2017.
U.S. purchases of coated free sheet (CFS) papers decreased 10% in February when compared to February 2018. Inventories, meanwhile, remained essentially flat compared to last month. An increase in imports for 2018 of CFS papers of 9% combined with a 13% decrease in exports to leave net imports of CFS papers 50% higher than 2017.
U.S. purchases of coated mechanical (CM) papers remained essentially flat year-over-year in February. U.S. shipments of uncoated mechanical (UM) paper decreased less than one-half of 1% in February. Inventory levels at the end of February when compared to January decreased for coated mechanical and increased for uncoated mechanical. For 2018 as a whole, exports of CM papers decreased 5% while imports of UM papers remained flat compared to 2017.
The American Forest & Paper Association serves to advance a sustainable U.S. pulp, paper, packaging, tissue and wood products manufacturing industry through fact-based public policy and marketplace advocacy.