Doc isn't one to panic, but it sure seems the figures coming out of the American Forest & Paper Association are on the gloomy side. Total printing-writing paper shipments decreased 5.1% in June. That's after a 4% decrease in March and a 9% drop in April. Yikes.
The June report had some interesting detail:
- Inventory of coated free sheet (CFS) decreased for the second time in the last eight months.
- Coated mechanical (CM) inventory month-over-month decreased for the second time this year in June.
- Uncoated mechanical (UM) shipments decreased year-over-year for the third consecutive time in 18 months.
Paper shipments are a pretty good indicator of the health of the industry, so these numbers don't bode well.
But not every month has been bad – in March paper shipments were up 3% compared to the year before. I'll report again when the July/August numbers come out. Let's hope for the best.