04 December 2009 18:02 [Source: ICIS news]
HOUSTON (ICIS news)--The value of US-made chemical shipments fell in October, dropping 11% from the same month in 2008, the US Census Bureau said on Friday.
Led by double-digit declines in the fertilizer and petrochemical sectors, the value of chemical shipments in October totalled $51.2bn (€33.8bn), compared with $57.8bn in October 2008, the Census Bureau said.
The Census data showed monthly chemical shipments crawling back slowly from a five-year low of $42.2bn in September 2004.
Chemical cargoes have stayed in the $49bn-51bn/month range all of this year, down each month from the same months in 2008.
In the 10 months through October, chemical shipments declined 14% from the same period in 2008.
But chemical shipments fell less than the shipments of all US manufactured durable goods, which dropped 13% in October compared with the same month last year, the Census Bureau said.
And in each of the past three months, chemical shipments have increased, albeit only slightly, from the previous month. October shipments inched up less than 1% over September, when $50.9bn left US plants. Similar upticks were posted in September and August.
The Census Bureau divides the chemical industry into four sectors: pesticides and fertilizers, pharmaceuticals, petrochemicals and chemicals used in paints, coatings and adhesives.
Pesticides and fertilizers continued to lead with the greatest percentage decline of any sector in October, with $2.6bn shipped, a 32% decline compared with $3.8bn in the same month of 2008, according to the Census data.
Petrochemicals showed the greatest year-over-year decline in total value, accounting for $32.2bn in shipments in October compared with $36.6bn in the same month of 2008.
Paints, coatings and adhesives - a leading indicator of the housing market - dipped by almost 10% in October to $2.5bn shipped, compared with $2.7bn in October 2008.
Pharmaceutical shipments fell the least, down by about 5%, with $14bn shipped, versus $14.7bn in the same month of 2008. Total pharmaceutical shipments have declined 1% so far this year.
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