Global chemicals output slows to 0.1% gain in Aug - ACC

21 September 2012 17:18  [Source: ICIS news]

WASHINGTON (ICIS)--Worldwide chemicals production rose by 0.1% in August from July, a key survey said on Friday, but that narrow global gain was driven by strong growth in Asia that was almost entirely offset by declines in the Americas, the EU and eastern Europe.

In its monthly global chemical production regional index (CPRI), the American Chemistry Council (ACC) said that while the 0.1% gain in August marked the ninth month of worldwide output gains, the pace of expansion has slowed.

In a year-on-year comparison of a three-month moving average of regional production, the council said that North American chemicals output was down by 0.5%, with a smaller 0.3% decline in Latin America.

Western Europe showed a 2.1% decline from the same three-month average period of a year ago, including a 17.5% drop in Belgium. 

Central and eastern Europe, which includes Russia, was down by 5.4% from a year earlier, driven largely by an 11.7% drop in Russian output.

Those declines were offset by the strong 7.8% production gain reported for the Asia-Pacific region, with a 9.7% boost in China’s output compared with the same period last year.

In North America, the council’s report noted that chemicals production “was generally on an upward trend since December 2008 but has slowed since mid-2011”.

“Recent data for the US show that overall production fell during August,” the survey said. “This follows a decline in July and no growth in June,” the report added.

The survey results also showed that even Asia-Pacific, where growth was 7.8% better than a year ago, that expansion has slowed, down from an 8.8% gain recorded in June and July’s 8.4% pace.

“Led by China, production in the Asia-Pacific region experienced a sharp recovery in 2010 and the expansion continued into 2011,” the council said, “but activity was soft in late-2011 and in early 2012.”

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

By: Joe Kamalick
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