US chemical production ends 2012 on high note - trade group

23 January 2013 17:41  [Source: ICIS news]

HOUSTON (ICIS)--Chemical production in December rose in all major US regions for the first time in nearly a year, according to a report released on Wednesday by the American Chemistry Council (ACC).

The US Chemical Production Regional Index (US CPRI) rose 0.3% in December, following a revised 0.1% gain in November. And it was the first time since February 2012 that all seven regions surveyed posted gains.

Month-on-month gains for December were reported in the northeast (0.5%), the west coast and mid-Atlantic (each at 0.4%), the midwest and Ohio Valley (each at 0.3%), the southeast (0.2%) and the Gulf coast (0.1%).

Domestic demand for US-manufactured goods is a key driver for US chemistry. With improvements in export markets, vehicle production and construction, manufacturing ended the year on a positive note, and chemical production at the start of 2013 looks promising, the ACC said.

Based on a three-month moving average, output of the country’s overall manufacturing sector posted a 0.5% gain in December, following a 0.2% gain in November. Within the manufacturing sector, output in several key chemistry end-use markets increased, including appliances, motor vehicles, construction materials, computers, semiconductors, structural panels, plastic and rubber products, paper, textile products and apparel, the ACC said.

Meanwhile, the three-month moving average for chemical production was mixed. Gains in output were made in organic chemicals, industrial gases, plastic resins, manmade fibres, synthetic rubber, consumer products and other specialty chemicals, while there was lower production of pharmaceuticals, pesticides, fertilizers and inorganic chemicals, according to the ACC.

Compared with December 2011, total chemical production in all regions was up by 0.2%, following a 0.3% year-over-year gain in November, thanks to the strength of shale gas-buoyed regions of the Gulf coast and Ohio Valley.

By: Jeremy Pafford
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