Survey Says: Consecutive Capacity Decline Mars Paper Business

Washington, D.C. – The 43rd Annual Capacity Survey of the American Forest & Paper Association (AF&PA) showed declines of paper and paperboard capacity of 1.9 percent in 2001 and 1.3 percent in 2002. According to the survey, the decline mainly reflects stiff foreign competition and a period of weakened demand. The total 2002 capacity of 100.5 million tons had been reduced by 2.5 percent in order to include facilities that closed in 2001 but had not met the "one-year" rule, which requires mills to remain closed for one year before their capacity is removed from the survey. The adjustment also accounted for the removal of capacity that permanently closed in 2002 and was immediately removed from the survey under its new ground rules. The survey indicates that capacity will remain unchanged in the next three years.