Containerboard, boxboard production declines in May

Containerboard, boxboard production declines in May

The American Forest & Paper Association reports containerboard production for export declined from last year.


Containerboard production in May decreased 6 percent compared with May 2018 and was down 4.5 percent year to date, according to Washington-based American Forest & Paper Association’s (AF&PA’s latest Containerboard Monthly report. The average daily production compared with April was 0.9 percent higher. The containerboard operating rate increased slightly from 91.5 percent in April to 91.9 percent, as the total linerboard rate rose above 90 percent for the first time since January.

In spite of the bounce back in the last couple of months, the May operating rate was 6.7 points lower than the same month last year and the year-to-date operating rate was down 6 points compared with last year, AF&PA reports. Production for export, most of which is liner, was down nearly 18 percent year-over-year and nearly 20 percent year to date.

Total boxboard monthly production in May decreased 4.6 percent when compared with May 2018. The total boxboard operating rate was 91.1 percent for May. Total solid bleached boxboard and liner production was up 0.2 percent year to date; recycled boxboard production rose 0.2 percent year to date; and unbleached kraft and gypsum declined by 1.2 percent year to date, AF&PA states in its U.S. Boxboard Report.  

AF&PA reports in its Packaging Papers & Specialty Packaging Monthly report that total packaging papers shipments were down 7.2 percent in May compared with May 2018 and down 2.4 percent year to date. Bag and sack shipments declined 0.6 percent year to date; multiwall shipments were down 7.5 percent; food wrapping shipments were flat; and converting shipments were down 2.8 percent, AF&PA reports. The operating rate for May decreased to 85.2 percent compared with 88.4 percent in April. Inventory levels decreased 2.3 percent from April. 

According to AF&PA’s Printing-Writing Monthly report, total printing-writing paper shipments decreased 11 percent in May compared with May 2018. U.S. purchases of total printing-writing papers declined 8 percent in May compared with the same month last year. Total printing-writing paper inventory levels increased 1 percent from April.

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