Paper money: Paperloop.com, a paid-subscription site, is reporting that in June, North American factories that mill the type of paper used for printing magazines were operating at 95% capacity, up from 88 % a year ago.
Tightness in North American printing/writing paper markets was reflected in the latest Pulp and Paper Products Council statistics, which show operating rates for all grades averaged 95 percent in June, up from 88 percent a year ago….Shipments as a percentage of capacity in June averaged 103 percent for coated mechanical paper, 99 percent for coated free-sheet (woodfree) and 93 percent for uncoated free-sheet (woodfree) as mills struggled to keep up with demand. Printing/writing paper shipments in June surged 10.4 percent ahead of a year ago and were up 6.2 percent for the first six months, according to PPPC. Mill inventories tumbled 117,000 tonnes to end June 528,000 tonnes below a year ago.
Some of the increase in shipments was caused by customers building up inventory before an anticipated price increase buyers expected on July 1, according to the report.