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Global and U.S. chemical production trended higher in April, ACC says

| By Scott Jenkins

Marking another month of incremental gains, global and U.S. chemical production rose in April. According to the American Chemistry Council (ACC; Washington, D.C.;, the Global Chemical Production Regional Index (Global CPRI) rose by 0.4% in April following a revised 1.5 % increase in March. In the U.S., the U.S. Chemical Production Regional Index (U.S. CPRI) rose 0.5% in April. Both indices are measured on a three-month moving average (3MMA) basis to reduce month-to-month volatility.

“Chemical output increased in April for all regions except South America,” said Martha Moore, ACC’s chief economist. “On a year-over-year basis, while global production remained lower compared to a year ago, output was higher in Europe, Asia Pacific, and Africa & Middle East.”

In the U.S., April’s gain reflects improvement across several chemistries, especially those recovering from production outages during Q1 due to bad weather and maintenance to refineries, says ACC.

“Going into Q2, inventories have moved into a more balanced position, and despite slowing momentum in manufacturing, several end-use markets have improved, in particular, motor vehicle production,” Moore explained. “A recent ACC analysis showed that an average vehicle contains more than $4,000 of chemistry products.”

Key findings:

  • The gain in April reflects higher chemical production in several major producing countries, including the United States, China, Taiwan, Russia, France, and Germany.
  • Global output is up in all segments except Agricultural Chemicals, which include pesticides and fertilizers.
  • Output in the U.S. was higher than a month ago in all regions, with the largest gain in the Gulf Coast, which has largely recovered after some production outages during Q1. Output remained lower than a year ago, however.
  • In the U.S., output of fertilizers, consumer products, organic chemicals, plastic resins, and inorganic chemicals trended higher. These gains were offset by lower production of synthetic rubber, paints & coatings, adhesives, and other specialty chemicals. Production of manufactured fibers was essentially flat.