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Comment Business & Economics

U.S. chemical production edges higher to start the year, ACC says

By 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) edged higher by 0.1 percent in January, following a 0.1 percent decline in December and a 0.2 percent decline in November. During January, chemical output declined across all regions except the Gulf Coast.

Chemical production was mixed over the three-month period. There were gains in the three-month moving average (3MMA) output trend of organic chemicals, plastic resins, chlor-alkali, industrial gases, synthetic dyes and pigments, other inorganic chemicals, synthetic rubber, manufactured fibers, and fertilizers. These gains were offset by declines in the output of coatings, adhesives, other specialty chemicals, crop protection chemicals, and consumer products, ACC says.

Nearly all manufactured goods are produced using chemistry in some form. Thus, manufacturing activity is an important indicator for chemical production. On a 3MMA basis, manufacturing activity rose by 0.3 percent in January, a second consecutive increase following three months of declines. Output expanded in several chemistry-intensive manufacturing industries, including food and beverages, appliances, motor vehicles, construction supplies, computers and electronics, semiconductors, refining, iron and steel products, foundries, oil and gas extraction, plastic products, rubber products, paper, printing, and furniture.

Compared with January 2019, U.S. chemical production was off by 1.6 percent on a year-over-year (Y/Y) basis, the eighth consecutive month of Y/Y declines. Chemical production was lower than a year ago in all regions, with the largest declines in the Mid-Atlantic, Northeast, and Ohio Valley regions, ACC says.

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