WASHINGTON – The American Forest & Paper Association (AF&PA) today released the 59th Annual Survey of Paper, Paperboard and Pulp Capacity, reporting U.S. paper and paperboard capacity declined 1.1 percent in 2018.
Containerboard capacity increased 1.9 percent in 2018 to reach a record 39.7 million tons. Containerboard accounted for 47.6 percent of U.S. paper and paperboard capacity in 2018, up from 38.3 percent in 2008.
Tissue paper capacity rose 1.3 percent in 2018 to 8.8 million tons. Over the 2009-2018 ten-year period, tissue capacity rose 7.0 percent. In 2018, a new tissue paper mill was opened with two machines and a new tissue machine was started at an existing mill.
Reflecting digital competition, capacity for newsprint and printing-writing papers continued to decline in 2018. Several machines producing these grades were permanently closed or converted to the production of other grades last year.
The report includes U.S. industry capacity data for 2018 and 2019 for all major grades of paper, paperboard and pulp, as well as fiber consumption, based on a comprehensive survey of all U.S. pulp and paper mills. Survey data includes responses from companies representing 87 percent of U.S. paper and paperboard industry capacity, with estimates completing the data set.