04 May 2010 17:23 [Source: ICIS news]
HOUSTON (ICIS news)--US-made chemical shipments continued to soar in March, rising 10% over the same month last year and racking up the fifth straight month of year-over-year gains, according to data released on Tuesday by the US Commerce Department.
The value of US-made chemical shipments totalled $55.45bn (€42.14bn) compared with $50.24bn in March 2009, according to US Census data.
It was the highest total value for US chemicals transported since October 2008, when shipments totalled $57.86bn.
Petroleum and coal products had the greatest increase of all manufactured non-durable goods sectors. Crude and coal cargoes totalled $49.24bn during the month, up 58% over $31.18bn shipped in the same period last year.
Nationwide, all manufactured non-durable goods rose 15% to $212.8bn, compared with $184.8bn in March 2009, according to Census data.
The Census Bureau divides the chemical industry into four sectors: pesticides and fertilizers, pharmaceuticals, petrochemicals and chemicals used in paints, coatings and adhesives.
Three of the four segments showed increases in total shipments in March, with pesticides and fertilizers leading the way due to the advent of the spring growing season, up 34% over the same month last year.
Also, petrochemical shipments increased 15%, totalling $34.69bn compared with $30.1bn in the third month of 2009, the data showed.
Even the paints, coatings and adhesives sector - a leading indicator of the housing market - showed a gain, totalling $2.63bn shipped in March, up almost 7% compared with $2.46bn in the same month of 2009.
Meanwhile, pharmaceutical shipments fell about 4% in March with $13.9bn shipped, compared with $14.5bn in the same month of 2009.
($1 = €0.76)
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