Global chemicals output gains 0.3% in September – ACC

22 October 2012 19:34  [Source: ICIS news]

WASHINGTON (ICIS)--Worldwide chemicals production rose by 0.3% in September from August, the American Chemistry Council (ACC) said on Monday, with strong growth in Asia offsetting output downturns in Europe and North America.

In its monthly global chemical production regional index (CPRI), the council said that September’s advance in worldwide chemicals output marked the 10th straight monthly gain.

But the global production advance was a broad mix of gains and losses, the report showed.

In the CPRI’s year-on-year, three-month moving average of regional production output, the Asia-Pacific region enjoyed a solid 8.0% gain in the September report, a level of growth in the moving average that has been near, at or above 8.0% for four months.

Within the Asia-Pacific data, China showed a 9.9% gain in production, also in comparison to the same three-month average of a year ago.

In that region, there also was a 2.8% advance for India and a 5.4% rise in Korea.

Africa and the Middle East recorded a 3.7% advance last month in the year-over-year, three-month moving average, although that pace was down slightly from the 4.1% gain seen in August.

Latin America delivered a 0.9% gain in September, the council said, largely on the basis of Brazil’s 2.1% gain compared with the same three-month average of last year.

Production expansions in Asia, Africa, the Middle East and Latin America were, to some extent, eroded by output declines in North America, Western Europe and Central and Eastern Europe, the report said.

In North America, the 0.6% downturn in the September report was attributed largely to a 2% decline in Canada, aided by a 0.5% fall in the US and a 0.3% drop in Mexico.

Western Europe delivered a 0.6% overall decline in the September report.

Despite production gains of 5.9% in the Netherlands and a 2.6% advance in France, the region’s overall output was pulled into negative territory by declines in the UK (-7.4%), Belgium (-4.7%), Italy (-2.9%) and Germany (-2.3%), among others.

In Central and Eastern Europe, chemicals production was down by 5.0% for the reporting period, a decline wholly attributed to an 11.3% drop in Russia.  That production plummet overcame a 2.4% advance elsewhere in the region.

Within the US, the council report said that weakness in pharmaceuticals and agrochemicals offset gains elsewhere, including plastic resins, synthetic rubber and man-made fibres.

US specialty chemicals saw gains in coatings, offsetting declines elsewhere in the segment.

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

By: Joe Kamalick
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