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Printing paper demand up 4.2% in March, 3.3% for the first quarter of 2003

Press release from the issuing company

Montreal, May 9, 2003 – On Tuesday, the Pulp and Paper Products Council announced today that North American printing and writing paper demand was up 4.2% in March and 3.3% for the first quarter of 2003. During the month of March, output increased 5.8% and shipments grew 0.6%, resulting in an 89% operating rate for the month. Shipments to North America increased half a percent in March while shipments overseas grew 4.2%. Mill inventories closed the month at 2.6 million tonnes, up 72 000 tonnes from the end of February 2003. Printing and writing papers include all papers used to print published materials such as books, magazines, catalogues etc., as well as office papers such as forms, envelopes and reprographic papers. It excludes newsprint. The Pulp and Paper Products Council (PPPC) is a world leader in providing up-to-date, comprehensive market data and intelligence on global pulp and paper markets. The PPPC is an alliance of product associations serving an international membership.