US June chemical shipment values drop 2%, petchems up 7%

02 August 2012 17:26  [Source: ICIS news]

HOUSTON (ICIS)--The value of shipments of US-made chemicals in June dropped by 2% year on year, countered by a 7% increase in petrochemicals, according to data released on Thursday by the US Department of Commerce.

The data showed that the value of US land and water chemical shipments totalled $61.23bn (€50.21bn) in June, compared with $62.68bn a year earlier.

The largest chemical sector tracked in the Census data – petrochemicals – rose for the third time this year with shipments in June totalling $41.66bn, compared with $38.8bn in the same month of 2011.

June marked the second month this year with a negative return for US chemical shipments. In March, values by declined 2.5%. The March drop ended a string of 27 months of year-on-year gains for US chemical shipments since December 2009.

The value of total shipments for all US manufacturing industries in June extended its string of year-on-year gains to 31 straight months.

Total manufacturing shipments rose by almost 6% to $469.87bn, compared with $444.33bn in June 2011, the data showed. This includes fabricated metal and wood products, furniture, all machinery including computers, transportation and electrical equipment.

Chemicals ranked as the third largest non-durable goods industry in the US in June, surpassed only by transportation equipment ($64.23bn) and petroleum and coal products ($67.3bn).

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

Paints, coatings and adhesives continued to show positive gains, increasing by 17% with $2.85bn in shipments compared with $2.43bn in June 2011.

The value of pesticides and fertilizer shipments again fell the most of any chemical sector, reflecting the end of the spring sales season and lower ammonia prices. Shipments in that sector declined to $2.6bn, a drop of 52% compared with $5.5bn in June 2011. Pesticides and fertilizer shipments fell 40% in May.

($1 = €0.82)

By: Lane Kelley
+1 713 525 2653

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