Chemical industry poised for growth in 2022 as consumer demand strengthens – ACC

Janet Miranda


HOUSTON (ICIS)–US chemical production expanded in 2021, as the post-lockdown spending surge boosted demand for chemicals and other goods and materials despite the headwinds from winter storm Uri and Hurricane Ida, the American Chemistry Council (ACC) said in its year-end chemical outlook.

In 2022, the US chemical industry is in a strong position for growth as consumer demand strengthens and restocking drives expansion.

US GDP is expected to grow by 4.4% in 2022. In 2021, US GDP grew 5.6%, reversing a 3.4% decline in 2020. US industrial production will grow by 4.0% in 2022, after industrial production rose 5.5% in 2021, driven by a rebound in demand for goods.

“While risks for the global economy remain, the U.S. chemical industry is in a strong position going into 2022,” said Martha Moore, ACC chief economist and author of the outlook.

Source: ACC

US vehicle sales rose to 15.3m in 2021, compared with 17.0m in 2019 and 14.5m in 2020. US vehicle sales are forecasted to be 16m in 2022.

Global vehicle production plummeted in 2020 because of lockdowns and a slowdown in production due to a shortage of semiconductors.

Housing starts rose during the pandemic due to historically low mortgage rates and the rise of remote work during the pandemic.

Housing starts grew to 1.58m in 2021, the highest since 2006. Forecasts predict housing starts to ease to 1.56m for both 2022 and 2023.

US imports and exports of chemicals have rebounded strongly in 2021, despite ongoing supply chain and logistic challenges.

Exports rose to $151bn in 2021, imports grew to $127bn, resulting in a trade surplus of $24bn. Exports will rise 7.3% in 2022 to $162bn, imports will grow 7.1% to $136bn, resulting in a trade surplus of $26bn.

By 2025 US exports will reach $182bn, according to the outlook.

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