US February petrochemical shipments rise almost 11% year on year

02 April 2013 16:48  [Source: ICIS news]

HOUSTON (ICIS)--The value of US-made chemical shipments in February recorded a slight increase year on year, while the petrochemical sector gained by almost 11%, according to data released on Tuesday by the US Department of Commerce.

The value of US land and water chemical shipments totalled $62.37bn (€48.64bn) in February, up nominally over $62.19bn a year earlier.

The largest chemical sector tracked by the census – petrochemicals – extended its year-on-year string of monthly gains to 11 straight months, with shipments in February totalling $42.92bn, compared with $38.74bn in the same month of 2012.

The value of total shipments for all US manufacturing industries in February continued its string of year-on-year gains to 39 straight months. That string began in December 2009.

Total manufacturing shipments rose by 5.7% to $489.33bn, compared with $462.64bn in February 2012, the data showed. This includes fabricated metal and wood products, furniture, and all machinery including computers, transportation and electrical equipment.

Chemicals ranked as the fourth largest non-durable goods industry in the US in February, behind petroleum and coal products ($77.54bn), transportation equipment ($66.11bn), and food products ($62.72bn).

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 February.

Besides the rise in petrochemicals, paints, coatings and adhesives continued to surge, increasing by about 6% with $2.88bn in shipments compared with $2.72bn in February 2012.

On the down side, the value of pesticides and fertilizer shipments continued to fall, dropping by more than any chemical sector for the 11th 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 February. Shipments in that sector fell to a value of $3.1bn, a nearly 42% drop compared with $5.33bn in February 2012.

The value of pharmaceutical shipments declined by 12% in February, totalling $13.45bn compared with $15.39bn in the same month last year.

($1 = €0.78)

By: Lane Kelley
+1 713 525 2653

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