US swings to chemical trade surplus in first quarter

11 May 2012 22:44  [Source: ICIS news]

HOUSTON (ICIS)--The US swung to a chemical trade surplus of $366m (€282m) in the first quarter, up from a deficit of $1.1bn in the same period a year ago, the American Chemistry Council (ACC) said on Friday.

The trade surplus for chemicals, excluding pharmaceuticals, came to $11.3bn, up from $10.5bn in the same period last year.

Exports of chemicals rose 5%, while imports rose 2%.

The ACC said the first-quarter trade surplus can be attributed to $23.8bn in exports of basic chemicals, compared with $14.7bn in imports.

In addition, imports of agricultural chemicals fell by 19%, while exports rose 16%, still leaving a trade deficit of $851m.

For North America, chemical imports fell by 0.1% year on year, while exports grew 13.6%, leaving a trade surplus of $5.0bn.

Meanwhile, western Europe had a trade deficit of $11.0bn, reflecting the region’s economic weakness. Exports decreased 0.6%, while imports increased 2.4%.

The Asia/Pacific region posted a trade surplus of $2.7bn, with exports and imports increasing 1.8% and 10.7%, respectively.

($1 = €0.77)

By: Bobbie Clark
+1 713 525 2653

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