As promised last week, the blog has undertaken its usual 6 monthly analysis of global chemical production, excluding pharma, by major region.
The data comes from the comprehensive American Chemistry Council (ACC) report. It shows global production (blue diamonds) was 4% above the previous peak in H1 2008. But there is a considerable variation in Regional performance:
Asia-Pacific. Output (blue line) was up 17% versus Q1 2008, due to China's lending and stimulus programmes.
Middle East/Africa. Output (orange) up 16%, due to advantaged feedstock.
Latin America. Output (green) was at Q1 2008 level, due to Asian demand.
W Europe. Output (purple) was down 4%, with stimulus programmes ending.
CEE. Output (green) was down 5%, after a strong rise in Q2 2010.
N America. Output (red) was down 8%, with Q2 2010 static vs Q1.
This highlights the industry's clear dependence on Asian demand.
Western stimulus programmes were supposed, by now, to have provided 'escape velocity' from the Crisis, and encouraged consumer confidence to return. Instead, after the initial excitement, they seem to have led to a period of doubt, where people worry about how the cost of them will be repaid.