April 24, 2012


WASHINGTON, DC—April 20, 2012—According to the American Forest & Paper Association’s March 2012 “Printing-Writing Paper Report,” total printing-writing paper shipments decreased 11 percent in March compared to March 2011. Three of the four major printing-writing grades posted double-digit decreases compared to last March, and the one single-digit decrease was the largest for that grade since 2009.

U.S. purchases (shipments + imports – exports) of printing-writing papers decreased 16 percent in March. Total printing-writing paper inventory levels increased slightly, up just one percent compared to February 2012.

Additional key findings include:
March 2012 shipments of uncoated free sheet (UFS) papers were the only grade down less than double-digits. As a point of reference, March 2011 shipments of UFS were the highest since October 2008. UFS year-to-date shipments down two percent.
Shipments of coated free sheet (CFS) papers decreased year over year by a double-digit percentage for just the third time since 2009. CFS year-to-date shipments down four percent.
Compared to a very strong March 2011, coated mechanical (CM) paper shipments showed the greatest year-over-year decline of the four grades.
Uncoated mechanical (UM) paper purchases down sharply partly as a result of UM imports hitting their lowest level since February 1997.