US October petrochemical shipments increase 12% year on year

05 December 2012 17:10  [Source: ICIS news]

(adds missing word "shipments", paragraph 1)

HOUSTON (ICIS)--The value of US-made chemical shipments in October showed another small increase year on year while petrochemicals rose 12%, according to data released on Wednesday by the US Department of Commerce.

The value of US land and water chemical shipments totalled $62.51bn (€47.51bn) in October, up by 1.5% compared with $61.58bn a year earlier.

The largest chemical sector tracked by the Census – petrochemicals – rose again, with shipments in October totalling $42.87bn, compared with $38.25bn in the same month of 2011. The value of petrochemical shipments has increased year on year for seven straight months.

In the four-month period from July through October, the value of US chemical shipments showed another slight increase (0.7%), 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 declined twice this year, in March and June. The March drop ended more than two years of monthly year-on-year gains for US chemical shipments since December 2009.

The value of total shipments for all US manufacturing industries in October extended its string of year-on-year gains to 35 straight months.

Total manufacturing shipments rose by 6% to $482.33bn, compared with $455.44bn in October 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 October, surpassed only by transportation equipment ($63.78bn) and petroleum and coal products ($78.82bn).

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 increases in October.

Besides the gain in petrochemicals, paints, coatings and adhesives continued to rise, increasing by 4% with $2.72bn in shipments compared with $2.61bn in October 2011.

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

Production issues in eastern Europe, the Middle East and the Caribbean have brought year on year declines of 25-50% in each month beginning in April. Shipments in that sector declined to $3.24bn, a drop of 43% compared with $5.69bn in October 2011. Pesticides and fertilizer shipments fell 41% in September.

($1 = €0.76)

By: Lane Kelley
+1 713 525 2653

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