Resolute Forest Products Inc. held a ceremony to inaugurate its new commercial-scale plant for the production of cellulose filaments at its Kénogami paper mill in Saguenay, Quebec. Cellulose filaments, also known as nanofibrillated cellulose, are a novel biomaterial derived from wood fiber, which can be used as a natural additive in many products to improve technical performance. Announced in 2020, the construction of the $27 million facility was part of a $38 million investment project in the company's Kénogami mill. Remi G. Lalonde, Resolute's president and chief executive officer, led the inauguration ceremony, also attended by Andrée Laforest, Quebec Minister of Municipal Affairs and Minister Responsible for the Saguenay-Lac-Saint-Jean region, as well as by local officials, dignitaries and Resolute employees.
According to the August 2017 Printing-Writing Monthly report from the American Forest & Paper Association, total printing-writing paper shipments decreased four percent in August compared to August 2016. Uncoated free sheet paper shipments increased in August while the other three printing-writing grades posted year-over-year shipment declines. U.S. purchases of printing-writing papers also decreased, down seven percent in August. Total printing-writing paper inventory levels decreased three percent from July 2017.
•August uncoated free sheet (UFS) paper shipments increased year-over-year for the first time since August 2016. The August shipments of UFS also hit the highest monthly total since March 2016. Imports of UFS decreased by 28% year-over-year in July – the second consecutive decrease of 20% or more. Meanwhile, exports of UFS papers increased 30% year-over-year in July, which is the third consecutive increase of 20% or more.
•August shipments of coated free sheet (CFS) papers declined. And while shipments of coated two-sides #1-#2 also decreased year-over-year in August, they still reached the highest monthly total thus far in 2017. U.S. imports of CFS papers decreased 13% year-over-year in July; it is the first year-over-year decline in 2017. Exports of CFS papers increased 11% year-over-year in July, the fifth increase in the past seven months.
•Coated mechanical (CM) paper shipments declined year-over-year in August, but reach third highest level in 2017. Imports of CM increased in July, up 11% compared to July 2016, while exports of CM decreased 20% in July.
•While shipments of uncoated mechanical (UM) papers declined year-over-year in August, the export data registered a year-over-year increase in July. Imports of UM decreased 3% year-over-year in July while exports of UM increased 10% year-over-year in July – the fourth year-over-year increase in the first seven months of 2017.