Canada chemical industry had strong recovery in 2010 – group

08 December 2010 14:51  [Source: ICIS news]

TORONTO (ICIS)--Canada’s chemical industry experienced a solid recovery in 2010 from the 2009 crisis year, an industry trade group said on Wednesday.

Chemistry Industry Association of Canada (CIAC) said that sales of basic chemicals and resins rose 14% to Canadian dollar (C$) 21bn ($21bn).

Operating profits were C$ 2.3bn, up 73% from 2009.

"This is a good sign that our industry is on track to reach pre-recession levels of production," said CIAC president Richard Paton.

"But to grow beyond that, Canada needs to focus on upgrading more natural resources on Canadian soil, rather than exporting them,” he added, referring to oil firms shipping raw bitumen from Alberta's oil sands industry to US refineries instead of processing them for value-added chemical production in Canada.

According to CIAC’s year-end survey, Canada’s chemical export sales increased 19% in 2010, to C$15.6bn.

Sales to the US rose 19% and accounted for 73% of the chemical industry's business outside of Canada. However, sales to Canadian customers increased by only 1% from 2009, the group said.

Despite the improvement, producers remained cautious about investing in new machinery and equipment, and little new investment was projected for 2011, it added.

Major chemical firms with production in Canada include NOVA Chemicals, Dow Chemical, Shell, MEGlobal, DuPont Canada, LANXESS, Invista, and ExxonMobil’s Canadian Imperial Oil affiliate, among others.

($1 = C$1.01)

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By: Stefan Baumgarten
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