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Both global and U.S. chemical production trended higher in March, ACC says

| By Scott Jenkins

According to the American Chemistry Council (ACC; Washington, D.C.;, the Global Chemical Production Regional Index (Global CPRI) rose by 0.7% in March, following a 0.2% increase in February. In the U.S., the U.S. Chemical Production Regional Index (U.S. CPRI) rose 2.6% in March, ACC said. Both indices are measured on a three-month moving average (3MMA) basis to reduce month-to-month volatility.

“During March, chemical output increased in all regions except Africa & Middle East,” said Martha Moore, ACC’s chief economist. “Despite these gains, chemical output continued to be lower than last year’s global production numbers.”

In the U.S., the 2.6% gain in March reflects a bump in chemical production that followed a tough Q4. “Producers were challenged at the end of the year by customer destocking and winter-weather related disruptions,” she added.

Key findings from ACC include the following:

  • The gain in March reflects higher chemical production in several major producing countries, including the United States, China, Russia, and Germany.
  • Global output is up in all segments, with the largest gains in synthetic materials, which includes plastic resins, synthetic rubber, and manufactured fibers.
  • According to U.S CPRI, output in the U.S. rallied in March and was higher than a month ago in all regions, with the largest gain in the Gulf Coast, home to much of the nation’s basic industrial chemical and synthetic materials capacity.
  • In the U.S., output of plastic resins, organic chemicals, industrial gases, coatings, adhesives, crop protection chemicals, synthetic dyes & pigments, synthetic rubber, consumer products, and other specialty chemicals were higher. Gains were offset by lower production of synthetic rubber and fertilizers.

The Global CPRI measures the production volume of the chemical industry for 55 key nations, sub-regions, and regions, all aggregated to the world total. While most data are seasonally adjusted at source, some are adjusted using the U.S. Census Bureau’s X-12 model to present data comparable to the United States. In a few cases, ACC creates indices of production based on actual production data weighted according to industry structure. The index uses the total value added as a proxy for individual country weights to arrive at the total. This method accounts for the changes in each country’s share relative to global production, which is more reflective of ever-changing global production dynamics.

The U.S. CPRI was developed to track chemical production activity in seven regions of the United States. The U.S. CPRI is based on information from the Federal Reserve, and as such, includes monthly revisions as published by the Federal Reserve. The U.S. CPRI includes the most recent Federal Reserve benchmark revision released on March 28, 2023. To smooth month-to-month fluctuations, the U.S. CPRI is measured using a three-month moving average. The reading in March reflects production activity during January, February, and March.