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U.S. chemical production edged lower in April, ACC says

By Scott Jenkins |

According to the American Chemistry Council (ACC; Washington, D.C.), the U.S. Chemical Production Regional Index (U.S. CPRI) tumbled 3.1 percent in April following a 1.0 percent decline in March and a 0.4 percent decline in February. During April, chemical output fell across all regions, with the steepest decline in the Gulf Coast region. The lower level of chemical activity is directly related to supply chain disruptions and the lockdown of much of the U.S. economy during April.

Production fell across all chemical segments. Within several major segments, however, production of some chemical materials increased, including supply chains tied to personal protective equipment (PPE) and disinfection products.

As nearly all manufactured goods are produced using chemistry in some form, manufacturing activity is an important indicator for chemical demand. With many factories shut down during the month, overall manufacturing activity fell by 6.3 percent on a three-month moving average (3MMA) basis, with declines across all industry sectors – in some cases quite steep.

Compared with April 2019, U.S. chemical production was 5.3 percent lower, the eleventh and highest consecutive month of year-over-year declines. Chemical production was lower than a year ago in all regions, with the largest declines in the Northeast, Mid-Atlantic, and West Coast regions.

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