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Newsprint Use Plummets 13.3%

Magazine article Editor & Publisher

Newsprint Use Plummets 13.3%

Article excerpt

But the comparison is to a record year

In March, U.S. dailies used 727,000 metric tons of newsprint, 9.7% less than a year earlier, according to the Newspaper Association of America (NAA). Preliminary figures show a 13.3% drop in April.

With publishers' stocks sticking around 1.1 million tons and no consumption upturn in sight, former Times Mirror Co. newsprint buyer Bernard Bottomley thinks mill inventories will rise. Believing it's only a question of when producers will roll back the remaining $25 of their last price hike, he predicts it probably will happen by the end of this month.

End-of-March publishers' inventories came to a bit over 1.1 million tons (a 46-day supply) -- up 16.9% from the 951,000 tons (34 days) one year earlier. While projections show April stocks dropped to a little under 1.1 million tons, that's 20.9% higher than the year-earlier figure.

Neither Bottomley nor NAA's Nick Nocella remember a decline as steep as that projected for April, but both analysts cautioned that this year's negative numbers result from comparing use in today's troubled economy to record volumes early last year. …

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