US September petrochemical shipments rise 11.6%

02 November 2012 16:14  [Source: ICIS news]

HOUSTON (ICIS)--The shipment value of US-made chemicals in September showed another small increase year on year, while petrochemicals rose 11.6%, according to data released on Friday by the US Department of Commerce.

The value of US land and water chemical shipments totalled $62.44bn (€48.08bn) in September, up by 0.8% compared with $61.93bn a year earlier.

The largest chemical sector tracked by the Census – petrochemicals – rose again, with shipments in September totalling $42.97bn, compared with $38.49bn in the same month of 2011. The value of petrochemical shipments has increased year on year for six straight months.

In the three-month period from July through September, the value of US chemical shipments showed another slight increase, up by 0.3%, compared with the same period in 2011. There was no gain in July, with gains of less than 1% in August and September, according to the data.

Shipment values have declined twice this year, in March and June. 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 September extended its string of year-on-year gains to 34 straight months.

Total manufacturing shipments rose by 6.3% to $481.25bn, compared with $452.71bn in September 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 September, surpassed only by transportation equipment ($64.6bn) and petroleum and coal products ($77.75bn).

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 sectors showed gains in September.

Besides the increase in petrochemicals, paints, coatings and adhesives continued to rise, increasing by 7.4% with $2.75bn in shipments compared with $2.56bn in September 2011.

The value of pesticides and fertilizer shipments remained in a freefall, dropping the most of any chemical sector.

Production issues in eastern Europe, the Middle East and Trinidad have brought year on year declines of 25-50% in each month beginning in April. Shipments in that sector declined to $3.26bn, a drop of 41% compared with $5.52bn in September 2011. Pesticides and fertilizer shipments fell 43% in July.

($1 = €0.77)

By: Lane Kelley
+1 713 525 2653

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