U.S. Paper Industry Hits Mid-Year Stride After Beginning 2013 On Sluggish Note

The U.S. pulp, paper, and packaging industry—a mainstay market for tree growers—was running at a vigorous clip at mid-2013 after getting off to a somewhat shaky start at the beginning of 2013. This is good news for tree growers who have experienced relatively good markets and strong demand for pulpwood during a prolonged period of depressed markets and prices for larger, lumber-sized trees during the long slump in new home construction.

According to the Institute of Supply Management’s highly regarded survey of U.S. manufacturing activity, the paper industry was in neutral in January—showing neither growth nor contraction. But by February, it had snapped back into a growth mode where it has since remained, at least through June. In the ISM’s June industrial ranking, paper manufacturing was third among all U.S. industries in growth, with new orders up, customer inventories low, production expanding, and new export orders rising.

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