After a weather-related slow first quarter start, US box shipments picked up in April, while containerboard inventories showed a more then seasonal 92,000 ton decline, according to the latest industry statistics.
Box shipments totaled 30.712 billion ft2, down 1.2% from a year ago, but 3.5% higher average week, adjusted for one less shipping day this April compared with a year ago, the Fibre Box Assn reported. Year-to-date box shipments were down 0.3% on both an actual and average week basis from the first four months of 2013.
Containerboard inventories at box plants and mills declined 92,000 tons from the previous month to end April at 2.421 million tons. The decline is larger than the average 5-year decline of 71,00 tons and 10-year drop of 57,000 tons, according to Adam Josephson of KeyBanc.