US January petrochemical shipments rise by 12% year on year

06 March 2013 17:51  [Source: ICIS news]

HOUSTON (ICIS)--The value of US-made chemical shipments in January recorded another small increase year on year, with the petrochemicals sector gaining by 12%, according to data released on Wednesday by the US Department of Commerce.

The value of US land and water chemical shipments totalled $62.75bn (€48.32bn) in January, up by 1.0% compared with $62.07bn a year earlier.

The largest chemical sector tracked by the census – petrochemicals – extended its year-on-year string of monthly gains to 10 straight months, with shipments in January totalling $42.98bn, compared with $38.25bn in the same month of 2012.

The value of petrochemicals shipped also increased by 12% in December 2012.

The value of total shipments for all US manufacturing industries in January continued its string of year-on-year gains to 38 straight months. That string began in December 2009.

Total manufacturing shipments rose by 3.9% to $481.81bn, compared with $463.65bn in January 2012, 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 January, behind petroleum and coal products ($73.96bn) and transportation equipment ($64.80bn).

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 January.

Besides the rise in petrochemicals, paints, coatings and adhesives continued to gain, increasing by 2.5% with $2.85bn in shipments compared with $2.78bn in January 2012.

Meanwhile, the value of pesticides and fertilizer shipments continued to plunge, falling the most of any chemical sector for the 10th month in a row.

The drought in the US plus production issues in Europe, the Middle East and the Caribbean brought declines of 25-50% year on year in the last nine months of 2012 beginning in April, and another plunge in January. Shipments in that sector fell to a value of $3.23bn, a 44% drop compared with $5.79bn in January 2012.

The value of pharmaceutical shipments declined 10% in January, totalling $13.68bn compared with $15.23bn in the same month last year.

($1 = €0.77)

By: Lane Kelley
+1 713 525 2653

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