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Paper Shipments Continue Downward Spiral

Paper shipments are a pretty good indicator of the health of the industry, so the figures coming out of the American Forest & Paper Association are on the gloomy side.

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.