Two-month production drop gets attention of US chem trade group

17 June 2011 22:46  [Source: ICIS news]

HOUSTON (ICIS)--US production of chemicals excluding pharmaceuticals fell for the second consecutive month in May, the American Chemistry Council (ACC) said on Friday.

“While one month does not make a trend, two months of decline gets our attention,” the ACC said in its weekly economic report.

The ACC said overall chemicals production, including pharmaceuticals, rose by 0.3% in May from April to 88.8% of its 2007 average, according to US Federal Reserve data.

But excluding pharmaceutical chemicals, production actually fell by 0.6%, the ACC said.

In April, total production decreased by 0.2% after a 1.5% rise in March and a 0.5% decline in February, the ACC said.

“The pattern has been uneven,” it said.

May’s production numbers included a 0.8% drop in basic chemicals.

Within basic chemicals, there was a 1.7% gain in plastic resins, a 2.3% decline in inorganic chemicals, and a 0.9% decline in bulk chemicals and organic intermediates, as well as declines in synthetic rubber and man-made fibres.

Production of specialty chemicals rose 0.1% in May, while coatings dropped 0.1%.

Capacity utilisation in the overall industry rose by 0.3 percentage points to 77.9% in May, the ACC said.

Paul Hodges studies key influencers shaping the chemical industry in Chemicals and the Economy

By: Brian Ford
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