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March 21, 2014

U.S. chemical production expanded in February, ACC says

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) grew 0.3% in February. Following flat growth in January due to harsh winter weather, February’s CPRI showed growth in six out of seven regions. There was a modest decline in the Gulf Coast compared to January, but this was offset by gains in other regions. 

On a three-month moving average (3MMA), output of the nation’s overall manufacturing sector was flat in February, following a 0.1% decline in January. A tough winter and distribution disruptions curtailed manufacturing activity in many parts of the country. Within the manufacturing sector, output in several key chemistry end-use markets expanded, including aerospace, machinery, computers, plastic and rubber products, paper, and printing.

Also measured on a 3MMA basis, overall chemical production was again mixed. Gains in the output of chlor-alkali, industrial gases, dyes and pigments, acids, consumer products, coatings, adhesives, pesticides and pharmaceuticals and other specialties, were offset by lower production of organic chemicals, fertilizers, plastic resins, synthetic rubber and manmade fibers.

Compared to February 2013, total chemical production in all regions was ahead by 0.4% on a year-over-year basis, following a revised 0.1% gain in January. Chemical production was up on a year-over-year basis in the Midwest, Ohio Valley, Southeast, and West Coast. Production was lower in the Gulf Coast and Mid-Atlantic regions and flat in the Northeast. Comparing the first two months of 2014 to that in 2013, chemical production was up 0.2% nationally, with four of the seven regions posting gains.

 

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