News Category

AF&PA Releases 60th Annual Survey of Paper, Paperboard and Pulp Capacity

May 13, 2020

CONTACT: Tim Ebner / Lindsay Murphy
(202) 463-2436,

WASHINGTON – The American Forest & Paper Association (AF&PA) today released the 60th Annual Survey of Paper, Paperboard and Pulp Capacity, reporting that while overall U.S. paper and paperboard capacity declined 0.5 percent in 2019, some sectors rose, including tissue paper, containerboard and boxboard.

Tissue paper capacity rose 0.6 percent in 2019, matching the 10-year trend growth over 2010-2019. During 2019-2020, seven new tissue paper machines were started or will be started, with a result that tissue capacity is projected to far exceed trend growth, increasing 3.5 percent in 2020.

 The share of paper category capacity dropped from 44 percent in 2009 to 34 percent in 2019 as newsprint and printing-writing paper capacities continued to decline, more than offsetting the gains in tissue paper capacity. Several machines producing the communication paper grades have been permanently closed or converted to the production of containerboard and packaging papers.  

Containerboard capacity increased 1.5 percent in 2019, reaching a record 40.3 million tons – this is the ninth consecutive increase in containerboard capacity. As a result, containerboard accounted for 48.6 percent of U.S. paper and paperboard capacity in 2019, up from 39.3 percent in 2009.

The report includes U.S. industry capacity data for 2019 and 2020 for all major grades of paper, paperboard and pulp, as well as fiber consumption, based on a comprehensive survey of more than 300 U.S. pulp and paper mills conducted during February and early March 2020. Survey data includes responses from companies representing 87 percent of U.S. paper and paperboard industry capacity, with estimates completing the data set.

The survey with detailed tables is available for $2,300. Please contact Kory Bockman at or (202) 463-4716 for this report as well as other industry reports published by AF&PA.

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The American Forest & Paper Association (AF&PA) serves to advance a sustainable U.S. pulp, paper, packaging, tissue and wood products manufacturing industry through fact-based public policy and marketplace advocacy. AF&PA member companies make products essential for everyday life from renewable and recyclable resources and are committed to continuous improvement through the industry’s sustainability initiative — Better Practices, Better Planet 2020. The forest products industry accounts for approximately four percent of the total U.S. manufacturing GDP, manufactures nearly $300 billion in products annually and employs approximately 950,000 men and women. The industry meets a payroll of approximately $55 billion annually and is among the top 10 manufacturing sector employers in 45 states. Visit AF&PA online at or follow us on Twitter @ForestandPaper.