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Global chemical production up for September; U.S. production flat, ACC says

| By Scott Jenkins

According to the American Chemistry Council (ACC; Washington, D.C.;, the Global Chemical Production Regional Index (Global CPRI) trended higher by 0.6% in September, following a revised 0.6% gain in August. In the U.S., the U.S. Chemical Production Regional Index (U.S. CPRI) was flat in September, following a 0.8% gain in August. Both indices are measured on a three-month moving average (3MMA) basis to reduce month-to-month volatility.

“In September, chemical production increased in all regions with South America recording the strongest gain,” said Martha Moore, ACC’s chief economist. “Even though global production was higher on a year-over-year basis, North America and Europe exhibited some weakness as production trended somewhat below last year’s level.”

“In the U.S., restocking activity for basic chemicals and synthetic materials used in a wide variety of manufactured goods picked up a bit in September following a prolonged period of destocking. The gain was offset by lower output of specialty chemicals, however,” Moore noted.

ACC’s key findings included the following: 

  • The gain in September reflects a recovery in China’s chemical production. Despite housing woes and economic slowdown, it seems that China’s production bottomed out in July. Production in Japan also shows strength as production has been positive over the last six months.
  • Global output increased in all segments, with synthetic materials showing the highest gain.
  • According to U.S CPRI, output in the U.S. was flat in September with gains in the Gulf Coast offsetting declines in other regions of the country.
  • The gain in the Gulf Coast reflected stronger production of basic chemicals and synthetic materials that support the manufacture of building materials, automobile parts, just to name a few. The largest declines were in the Northeast, Mid-Atlantic, and West Coast regions, reflecting lower production of specialty chemicals and consumer products (i.e., personal care & cleaning products).