Washington, D.C. – The American Forest & Paper Association (AF&PA) today released the 58th Annual Survey of Paper, Paperboard and Pulp Capacity, reporting U.S. paper and paperboard capacity declined 0.3 percent in 2017.
Containerboard capacity continued to increase, rising 1.9 percent in 2017 to a record 38.9 million tons. Containerboard accounted for 46.2 percent of U.S. paper and paperboard capacity in 2017.
Tissue paper capacity is on a long-term expansionary trajectory, approximately in line with U.S. population growth, and rose 0.2 percent in 2017. Four tissue paper machines started production in 2017. Those capacity additions were partly offset by two mill closures that same year.
Reflecting displacement from digital media, capacity for newsprint and printing-writing papers continued to decline in 2017. Three mills and six machines producing these grades were permanently closed that year.
The annual survey reports U.S. industry capacity data for 2017 and 2018 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.