13 June 2007 14:15 [Source: ICIS news]
TORONTO (ICIS news)--Capacity utilisation at Canadian-based chemical plants rose by 2.3 percentage points in the first quarter of 2007 to 84.5%, compared with the first quarter of 2006, the highest level in four years, according to Statistics Canada (StatsCan) on Wednesday.
Sequentially, chemical plant utilisation rose by 1.5 percentage points from 83% in the 2006 fourth quarter.
The improvement came despite February’s 15-day rail strike at Canadian National that disrupted the supply chain for chemical product manufacturers, StatsCan said.
Plant utilisation in the plastics and rubber products sector was 70.2% in the first quarter of 2007, down 12.3 percentage points from the 2006 first quarter and down 2.7 percentage points from the 2006 fourth quarter.
The declines in plastics and rubber were primarily due to weaker demand in the automotive sector, StatsCan said.
The numbers for the chemicals, plastics and rubber sectors compare with overall first-quarter industrial plant utilisation of 83%, down 2.8 percentage points from the 2006 first quarter but up 0.6 percentage points from the 2006 fourth quarter.
Overall manufacturing plant utilisation was 81.1% in the first quarter, down 3.7 percentage points from the 2006 first quarter but unchanged from the 2006 fourth quarter, StatsCan said.
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