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Comment Processing & Handling

U.S. chemical production fell in July, 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) fell by 0.9 percent in July following revised declines of 0.8 percent in June and 0.6 percent in May. During July, chemical output was lower in all regions, with the largest declines in the Mid-Atlantic, Northeast and West Coast regions.

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

Nearly all manufactured goods are produced using chemistry in some form. Thus, manufacturing activity is an important indicator for chemical production. On a three-month-moving average basis, manufacturing activity edged slightly higher in July, following five months of declines. Output expanded in several chemistry-intensive manufacturing industries, including food and beverages, appliances, motor vehicles and parts, aerospace, construction supplies, machinery, computers, petroleum refining, plastic products, rubber products, structural panels and furniture.

Compared with July 2018, U.S. chemical production was off by 2.7 percent on a year-over-year basis, a weaker comparison than in June. Chemical production was lower than a year ago in all regions, with the largest year ago declines in the Midwest and West Coast regions.

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