According to the American Forest & Paper Association's August 2011 Printing-Writing Paper Report, total printing-writing paper shipments decreased 6.4% in August compared to August 2010. All four major printing-writing grades posted decreases compared to last August. U.S. purchases (shipments + imports – exports) of printing-writing papers decreased 10% in August. Total printing-writing paper inventory levels decreased 4% compared to July 2011.
Some points of interest from the report include:
- July exports of uncoated free sheet (UFS) increased year-over-year for the fifth straight month.
- Shipments of coated free sheet (CFS) decreased year-over-year for the ninth consecutive month.
- Coated mechanical (CM) purchases decreased year-over-year for the fifth consecutive month.
- Uncoated mechanical (UM) shipments decreased year-over-year for the fifth consecutive month following 15 consecutive months of year-over-year increases.
Doc has learned one hard and fast rule – when paper shipments are down, business is down. Let's hope next month's figures look a little better.