"In the Paper segment, volumes for our office paper and converting grades were slightly above the second quarter of 2018. Prices and mix continued to move higher early in the quarter, but we began to see some softening late in the quarter. Overall, we were able to deliver solid results despite on-going increases with labor-related costs as well as several indirect operating expenses across the Company that negatively impacted us during the quarter.
“Looking ahead to the third quarter, in our Packaging segment we expect seasonally higher containerboard and corrugated products shipments, with lower prices as a result of the published domestic containerboard price decreases, and lower export prices. In the Paper segment, volume should be seasonally stronger, but prices and mix are expected to move lower. Converting and other costs should be slightly higher, but operating costs and scheduled maintenance outage costs should be lower."
In the Packaging segment, total corrugated products shipments with one less workday were down (1.3)% and shipments per day were up 0.3% over last year’s second quarter. Containerboard production was 1,063,000 tons, and containerboard inventory was down 5,000 tons from the first quarter of 2019 and up 29,000 tons compared to the second quarter of 2018. In the Paper segment, compared to the second quarter of 2018, sales volume was 13% lower and production volume was 6% lower, primarily due to discontinuing the paper business at the Wallula Mill.
PCA is the third largest producer of containerboard products and the third largest producer of uncoated freesheet paper in North America. PCA operates eight mills and 94 corrugated products plants and related facilities.