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February 17, 2013

U.S. chemical industry ended 2012 with trade surplus, ACC report says

Scott Jenkins

The U.S. ended 2012 with an overall trade surplus of $815 million, with $188 billion in exports and $187 billion in imports, according to the latest Weekly Chemistry and Economic Report from the American Chemistry Council (ACC; Washington, D.C.;
The trade surplus in 2012 improved on the $3.7 billion deficit posted in 2011, the ACC report pointed out.
The surplus in 2012 was reached despite a large deficit in the trade of pharmaceutical products, where there was a $40.4 billion deficit. For chemicals excluding pharmaceuticals, the surplus in 2012 topped $41 billion (exports were at $139.7 billion and imports were at $98.5 billion), although exports in that category did fall 1.4% from last year, while imports grew 0.3%.
“The industry’s largest areas of net exports are in basic chemicals, with exports of petrochemical derivatives and other industrial chemicals far outweighing imports,” ACC commented, noting that plastic resins made up a large portion of this trade.
Taking a look at the overall U.S. economy, ACC said that information collected from a number of economic professionals with expertise in the manufacturing sector indicate that the economy is expected to grow by 2.0% in 2013.
Overseas, the ACC report said that industrial production in the Euro Area improved in December. Meanwhile, composite leading indicators (CLIs) for several of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) countries “point to growth below trend” compared to the more positive signals in last month’s assessment, the report said.

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