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November 1, 2013

U.S. chemical production edged down in Sept.; production remains ahead year-over-year

Scott Jenkins

According to the American Chemistry Council (ACC; Washington, D.C.; www.americanchemistry.com), the U.S. Chemical Production Regional Index (U.S. CPRI) edged down by 0.4% in September, following a revised 0.2% decline in August. During September, chemical production was lower in all seven regions.
 
On a three-month moving average (3MMA), output of the nation’s overall manufacturing sector edged higher by 0.1% in September, after increasing 0.2% in August. Within the manufacturing sector, output in several key chemistry end-use markets grew, including motor vehicles, construction materials, machinery, fabricated metal products, semiconductors, plastic and rubber products, structural panels, textiles, and furniture. Manufacturing continues to expand following weakness during the second quarter. Stronger growth abroad, in addition to accelerating demand for autos, aerospace, and construction are key drivers.
 
Also measured on a 3MMA basis, overall chemical production was again mixed. Gains in the output of organic chemicals, synthetic rubber, manmade fibers, adhesives, and fertilizers, were offset by lower production of inorganic chemicals, pharmaceuticals, acids, consumer products and plastic resins.
 
Compared to September 2012, total chemical production in all regions decelerated to a 1.4% year-over-year gain, following a 1.8 percent gain in August. Chemical production remained ahead in all regions compared to a year ago. Comparing the first three quarters of 2013 to that in 2012, chemical production was up 1.1% nationally, with five of the seven regions posting gains.

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