The chemical processing Industry saw fewer plant closures in 2011 than the previous year, according to research by Industrial Info Resources, Sugar Land, Texas. The researcher identified 57 CPI plants in the U.S. and Canada that permanently closed their doors in 2010, compared to only 34 in 2011. In addition, plants saw increases in chemical plant spending for maintenance and capital projects.
While March marks the third consecutive month of gains in the PGPI, the increase seen in March was relatively small compared to the 10% jump in February prices. The February PGPI average was $1,401 per metric ton, up from $1,270 per metric ton in January.
The PGPI increase seen in March was supported by moderate gains in global crude oil markets. Brent crude oil prices during the month climbed 5% to $124.50 per barrel, while West Texas Intermediate crude prices rose 4% to $106 per barrel.