US October chemical production rises on pharma growth

20 November 2009 19:30  [Source: ICIS news]

HOUSTON (ICIS news)--US chemical production rose 1.6% in October from September, but largely on the strength of pharmaceuticals amid soft basic and specialty chemicals production, the American Chemistry Council (ACC) said on Friday.

“Nonetheless, railcar loadings continue to improve and suggest a further recovery,” according to the ACC’s Weekly Chemistry and Economic Trends report.

The 1.6% gain in October followed a revised 0.8% increase in September, the ACC said.

“Led by a solid gain in the Gulf coast region, chemical production was up in all seven regions for the second consecutive month,” the ACC continued.

“Within the headline numbers, however, the results were mixed,” the council cautioned.

“Recent data for October shows some weakness in organic chemicals, paints and coatings, synthetic dyes and pesticides. However, these declines were more than offset by gains in the production for pharmaceuticals, inorganic chemicals, adhesives, fertilizers, industrial gases, acids, synthetic rubber, manmade fibres and plastic resins."

According to the Chlorine Institute (CI), production of chlorine rose from 29,211 tons/day (26,500 tonnes/day) in September to 29,238 tons/day in October. Production of chlorine was off 10.5% year on year.

Compared with October 2008, total US chemical production was off 0.6%, the best year over year comparison in 20 months, the ACC said.

The ACC did not list overall chemical production tonnage numbers.

Regarding the overall US economy, the ACC’s running tab of positive indicators fell by one to 12 out of 20 this week on mixed economic reports.

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By: Brian Ford
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