WestRock Company provided an update following the landfall of Hurricane Florence. We are pleased that we have had no reported employee injuries and do not believe we have suffered any material physical damage to our facilities during the recent storm. We are working to restore normal operations at our facilities in the impacted region. We idled our kraft linerboard mill in Florence, South Carolina, in the middle of last week in advance of the landfall of Hurricane Florence. Yesterday, two of the three paper machines at the mill resumed operations, and we expect normal operations to resume after the transportation network in the region returns to normal. WestRock operates an extensive network of mill and converting facilities in South Carolina, North Carolina and Virginia that were in the storm’s potential path. Click Read More below for additional information.
According to the August 2018 Printing-Writing Monthly report from the American Forest & Paper Association, total printing-writing paper shipments decreased 11 percent in August compared to August 2017. Total printing-writing paper inventory levels decreased three percent from July. Imports of printing-writing papers in July increased six percent compared to July 2017 imports, while exports declined 24 percent compared to July 2017. •Shipments of coated mechanical (CM) paper decreased 11 percent year-over-year in August. Inventory levels decreased six percent. Exports of CM papers increased five percent in July compared to July 2017. Click Read More below for additional information.
Oil futures traded higher early Tuesday in New York, buoyed by recent remarks from Saudi Arabian officials that reportedly expressed a renewed level of comfort with higher prices in light of renewed U.S. sanctions on Iran that could disrupt global output. Saudi officials, according to a Bloomberg report citing people familiar with the discussions, said they don’t intend to drive prices higher but are growing more inured to the prospect of higher futures, which are likely to result from sanctions against Iran, set to take effect in less than two months. Previously, Saudi Arabia, the de facto leader of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries, or OPEC, had appeared to cow to complaints by President Donald Trump that crude prices were getting too rich. Click Read More below for additional information.
After a successful year in the online market and in response to customers who value the convenience and flexibility of ordering in smaller quantities, DS Smith Plastics, Rapak is expanding their online Bag-in-Box bag offering to include post-mix syrup and dairy bags. Rapak’s new bag offering joins their already popular line of iced coffee & tea Urn-liners™ that launched the site with great success last year, alongside Rapak bags for Bag-in-Box wine. The new Bag-in-Box bag offering includes: *3 gallon and 5 gallon post-mix syrup bags *2.5 gallon dairy (flat cap) bags and 5 gallon dairy (tube cap) bags. To expand the reach to customers that prefer the ease and timesaving benefits of ordering online, Rapak will be continuing to increase their online presence in the US and Europe in the coming months.
Forest Products Association of Canada (FPAC) applauds the Canadian government, and in particular International Trade Diversification Minister Jim Carr, on the launch of the debate on Bill C-79 – the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP) involving Australia, Brunei, Canada, Chile, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore, and Vietnam. This agreement will bring real benefits Canada’s forest products sector by eliminating tariffs, providing clear provisions to help settle disputes, and prohibiting the unfair blocking of imports. “Discussion on CPTPP comes at a critical time as we work to further diversify export markets for Canadian wood, pulp, paper, and wood-based bio-fuels and bio-materials,” said FPAC CEO Derek Nighbor. “Canada’s world leading reputation for careful and sustainable management of our forests is a real plus for us on the world stage. We have a tremendous opportunity to leverage this made in Canada advantage and bring more Canadian forest products to the rest of the world,” Nighbor added. Click Read More below for additional information.
Gap Inc. announced plans to hire approximately 65,000 seasonal associates for its Gap, Banana Republic, Athleta and Old Navy stores, as well as call centers and distribution centers for the 2018 holiday season. The company invites applicants to come onsite at all Gap, Gap Outlet, Banana Republic, Banana Republic Factory, Old Navy stores and select distribution and call centers for Gap Inc.’s holiday hiring event in the United States on October 6, 2018 and in Canada on October 13, 2018 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. in local time zones. Store job candidates are encouraged to apply for a position prior to the holiday hiring events through Gap Inc.'s seasonal hiring career page and distribution and call center candidates through Gap Inc.’s career page. Athleta and Phoenix distribution center will not host onsite interviews but will be recruiting for the holiday season through the career page. Click Read More below for additional information.
A new online sales bill introduced last week would include a $10 million exemption for small businesses. The new bipartisan bill, sponsored by Reps. Jim Sensenbrenner (R-Wisc.), Anna Eshoo (D-Calif.), Jeff Duncan (R-S.C.) and Zoe Lofgren (D-Calif.), would prohibit states from forcing out-of-state retailers to remit sales taxes from sales prior to June 21, the date of the Wayfair decision. It would prevent states from imposing sales tax collection duties until Jan. 10, 2019 and, most notably, it would carve out a $10 million exemption for small business sellers until the states produce a Congress-approved bill that, according to the bill, would simplify sales tax collection to the point where no small business exemption would be necessary. Click Read More below for additional information.
Intertape Polymer Group Inc. provided an update on its operations in light of the weather-related events impacting the Eastern United States. IPG has three facilities in the Carolinas and Virginia regions where Hurricane Florence made landfall late last week. Most importantly, all team members and their families remained safe throughout the event and no injuries have been reported to date. “Safety is a core value of our business. The impact of Hurricane Florence continues to be felt across the region with water levels a primary concern. Our number one priority continues to be the safety of our staff, their families and the communities in which they live. Our second priority is the safety of the assets. Our operations team has demonstrated a commitment and professionalism in the face of the hurricane, and its aftermath, by ensuring our team members and operations remain as safe as possible throughout the events,” said Greg Yull, President and CEO of IPG. “No material damage has been reported at any of the affected facilities. Click Read More below for additional information.
July bookstore sales rose 4.9% over July 2017, according to preliminary estimates released by the U.S. Census Department. Sales this July were $660 million, up from $629 million a year ago. The July increase continues a solid rally for sales through brick-and-mortar stores after sales got off to a weak start in January. With several months of mid-single digit increases, bookstore sales for the first seven months of 2018 were $5.36 billion, down 0.5% from the comparable period a year ago. For the entire retail segment, July sales were up 6.7% over July 2017 and sales for the seven-month period rose 5.5%.
K’ómoks First Nation, in partnership with Qualicum First Nation, welcomed TimberWest, the Canadian Council for Aboriginal Business (CCAB), and the Sustainable Forestry Initiative Inc. (SFI) to the K’ómoks First Nation Band Office to announce that they will pilot the SFI Small-Scale Forest Management Module for Indigenous Peoples, Families, and Communities. This is to be implemented on Rosewall Forest Tenure Holdings Ltd, the jointly managed working forest of K’ómoks First Nation and Qualicum First Nation. “K’ómoks has been actively managing its forests for a number of years, and we have recently started working with TimberWest on market access and other sustainability initiatives through our Memorandum of Understanding,” said Nicole Rempel, Chief of the K’ómoks First Nation. “When SFI approached us to consider this small-scale forest management certification, we knew it was something we wanted to implement, and we knew TimberWest could lend their expertise. Obtaining SFI certification is a good long-term decision for the benefit of our community and the future generations that will be managing the forests in the years to come.” Click Read More below for additional information.