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Containerboard operating rates stay high

The American Forest & Paper Association reports that containerboard operating rates were at 93.7 percent in December 2020.

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January 19, 2021

Containerboard production rates increased in December 2020 compared with the same month in 2019. According to the American Forest & Paper Association’s (AF&PA’s) latest "Containerboard Monthly" report, containerboard production in December increased 3 percent compared with December 2019, and it was up 4 percent for all of 2020 compared with all of 2019.

For December 2020, the containerboard operating rate was at 93.7 percent, essentially flat from December 2019, and up 2.3 percent year to date. The association reports that December 2020 production of containerboard for export decreased 22 percent compared with the same month in 2019, and it was up 9 percent year to date.

Mill inventories of containerboard at the end of December 2020 increased 3,000 tons from the previous month and were up 3,000 tons compared with December 2019.

In addition, AF&PA released its December 2020 "Packaging Papers & Specialty Packaging Monthly" report. The association says packaging paper shipments in December increased 8 percent compared with December 2019 and were up 5 percent in 2020 compared with 2019. For December 2020, the operating rate for packaging papers and specialty packaging was at 83.3 percent, which AF&PA states is up 0.6 percent compared with December 2019 and flat year to date.

For packaging papers in December 2020, mill inventories increased 2,000 tons compared with the previous month and increased 3,000 tons compared with December 2019.

Complete reports with detailed tables, charts and historical data can be purchased by contacting Kory Bockman at statistics_publications@afandpa.org or 202-463-4716.