US chemical shipments rise about 3% in October year on year

05 December 2011 17:31  [Source: ICIS news]

HOUSTON (ICIS)--Shipments of US-made chemicals in October rose about 3% year on year, according to data released on Monday by the US Department of Commerce.

Chemical shipments in October, which were somewhat less than the September total, recorded the 23rd straight month of year-on-year gains since December 2009.

The data showed that the value of US-made-chemical shipments by land and water totalled $61.58bn (€46.19bn) in the month, compared with October 2010 shipments valued at $60.03bn.

It was the third weakest month for shipments of US-made chemicals this year. In April, shipments rose just 1% in dollar value year on year. Most monthly gains since then have been 4.5-7% year on year. Shipments rose only 2% in September.

All US manufacturing industries in October increased by 8% in the value of total shipments, according to the data.

Chemicals represent one of the largest non-durable goods industries in the US, surpassed in October only by petroleum and coal products ($71.23bn) and food products ($62.76bn) in shipped value.

The gain in October chemical shipments trailed all manufactured non-durable goods shipped in the US, which rose 12% to $251.49bn from $224.37bn in the same month last year.

The US Census Bureau separates the chemical industry into four sectors: pesticides and fertilizers; pharmaceuticals; petrochemicals; and chemicals used in paints, coatings and adhesives. Three of the sectors showed gains in October.

The largest  petrochemicals  increased about 2% over the same month in 2010, with shipments valued at $38.25bn compared with $37.57bn in the same month last year.

The largest gain came in pesticides and fertilizer shipments, valued at $5.7bn, up 24% over $4.59bn in October 2010. Price increases for ammonia fuelled much of the gain.

Pharmaceuticals fell about 2% during October with $15.01bn shipped, compared with $15.29bn in the same month of 2010.

Shipments in the smallest sector – paints, coatings and adhesives – turned up in October for only the third monthly gain this year, rising almost 2% with $2.61bn in cargoes sent compared with $2.57bn in October 2010.

($1 = €0.75)

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


By: Lane Kelley
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