Containerboard production was essentially flat compared to December 2017 but up 1.7 percent year-to-date. The month-over-month average daily production compared to November 2018 was 1.8 percent lower. The containerboard operating rate was 94.2 percent, 2.9 percentage points lower than the same month last year. Production for export was 11.0 percent lower than December 2018 while year-end production for export was down less than half a percent over year-end 2017.
According to the December 2018 Printing-Writing Monthly report from the American Forest & Paper Association, total printing-writing paper shipments decreased seven percent in December compared to December 2017, which matches the total decrease for the year. Total printing-writing paper inventory levels increased seven percent from November. •U.S. purchases of uncoated free sheet (UFS) paper decreased six percent in December from the same month one year ago. The inventory level of UFS papers increased eight percent in December compared to November. •Shipments of coated free sheet (CFS) papers decreased six percent in 2018 when compared to 2017. Purchases decreased three percent for the year. •U.S. purchases of uncoated mechanical (UM) papers increased three percent year-over-year in December. Shipments of coated mechanical (CM) paper decreased four percent in December. Inventory levels at the end of December when compared to November increased seven percent and remained essentially flat for UM paper and CM paper, respectively.
National Average Price for Regular Unleaded – Current: $2.242; Month Ago: $2.369; Year Ago: $2.535. National Average Price for Diesel – Current: $2.925; Month Ago: $3.068; Year Ago: $2.942.
American Dollar to Canadian Dollar = 0.753686; American Dollar to Chinese Yuan = 0.147514; American Dollar to Euro = 1.140590; American Dollar to Japanese Yen = 0.009142; American Dollar to Mexican Peso = 0.052476.
Global oil demand is expected to be stronger this year than in 2018 as lower prices soothe the impact of slowing economic activity, but that forecast remains vulnerable to a deeper pullback, the International Energy Agency wrote Friday. Hopes for a global trade resolution, particularly between major energy consumers China and the U.S., as well as a moderating U.S. dollar, the main vehicle for commodities pricing, are behind the cautiously upbeat forecast. But the agency acknowledged that “the mood music in the global economy is not very cheerful” and the demand outlook for the energy industry could change, it said in the update issued Friday. “We have seen prices fall very significantly since the peak at the beginning of October, and that is providing some relief to consumers,” Neil Atkinson, head of the IEA’s oil industry and markets division, told Bloomberg TV Friday. Click read more below for additional detail.
Sears Holdings Corp. confirmed rumors with a statement saying it had selected chairman Eddie Lampert’s ESL Investments as the winning bidder in the company’s bankruptcy auction. Under the terms of the offer, ESL will acquire substantially all of the company’s assets, including 424 stores, for approximately $5.2 billion. Sears’ other brands include its Home Services business and Kenmore and DieHard brands. Lampert’s offer is the only one that would keep Sears up and running, preserving an estimated 45,000 jobs. The offer is subject to bankruptcy court approval, with a hearing currently scheduled for February 1, 2019. Click read more below for additional detail.
After 121 years in ink, the Jewish-American publication The Forward is ending its print run, which most recently took form as a monthly magazine published in both English and Yiddish versions, this spring. And with the transition to digital-only comes layoffs. According to a statement from the company, 10 staffers, most of whom were tied to the print production and editing and content sides of the publication, were laid off, making up 28 percent of the current staff. Click read more below for additional detail.
Bloomberg, Cox Enterprises, Gap Inc., Salesforce, and Workday, with guidance from LevelTen Energy and its renewable energy procurement platform, closed 42.5 megawatts of a 100 megawatt North Carolina solar project by global renewable energy developer, service provider and wholesaler, BayWa r.e. This group of companies, coming together as the Corporate Renewable Energy Aggregation Group, is the first example of companies aggregating similar, relatively small amounts of renewable energy demand to collaboratively enter into a virtual power purchase agreement (VPPA), collectively acting as the anchor tenant for a large offsite renewable energy project. The unprecedented coordination between five international businesses lays the groundwork for other corporates to procure renewable energy cooperatively, maximizing value and reducing risk. The five members of the group, with support from the Business Council on Climate Change (BC3) and the Business Renewables Center (BRC), began collaborating in late 2017. Many potential renewable energy purchasers have historically been faced with a key problem: businesses looking to procure smaller energy loads have been unable to contract directly with large offsite renewable energy projects due to limited energy demand. This has so far restricted business’s ability to catalyze the development of new renewable energy projects. To solve this problem, the group evaluated several mechanisms for aggregating smaller amounts of renewable energy demand to afford them the collective buying power that is typically necessary to contract directly with a large offsite renewable energy project. Click read more below for additional detail.
In 2019, Koehler celebrates the 85th anniversary of the playing card board. It has been so long since the first coating machine was purchased at the Oberkirch mill in 1934. Koehler started making cardboard for playing cards 85 years ago – and much has changed since then. New paper and coating machines have been added, new markets have been tapped into, and Koehler has seen crazes come and go. But one thing has stayed the same: Oberkirch remains the home of the very finest quality for the world’s great casinos. Koehler is celebrating the 85th anniversary of this in 2019. Back in 1934, the first coating machine (“coating machine 1”) was purchased at the Oberkirch facility, enabling the company to produce playing card board coated on one side. The machine comprised a brush spreader with a festoon dryer. Click read more below for additional detail.
Metsä Board operates Packaging Service teams on three continents – Europe, the Americas and APAC – to jointly, with customers, create lighter, more environmentally friendly and efficient packaging. Metsä Board is delighted to announce that the teams will be further strengthened with new design expertise following the appointments of Marko Leiviskä and Iiro Numminen. Marko Leiviskä, Metsä Board’s new Graphic Packaging Designer, has a strong global background working for brand owners, converters and board mills. This experience has given him a unique perspective on how packaging can strengthen a brand and this role will allow him to combine his technical skills into design and brand strategy. He moves to Metsä Board from OneMusketeer Oy, where he worked as an entrepreneur and head of design. He has experience of designing and conceptualising global campaigns for companies like Metsä Board, Stora Enso, Kotkamills, Walki Group and Woikoski. Before OneMusketeer, he worked for Konsepti Advertising and Drum Communications. Click read more below for additional detail.