US chemical production up in first quarter

U.S. chemical production continued to expand in the first quarter of 2016, according to the American Chemistry Council (ACC).

Figures released by the industry trade association show that the U.S. Chemical Production Regional Index (CPRI) rose by 0.3 percent in March following a revised 0.1 percent gain in February and a 0.4 percent gain in January. Production increased in all regions in March. Compared to March 2015, U.S. chemical production increased by 1.5%, a moderating trend. Chemical production was higher year-on-year in all regions.

Earlier in the week the ACC released quarterly figures for the U.S. specialty chemicals market, revealing that the Specialty Chemicals Market Volume Index was down 0.1 percent on a 3MMA basis in March after a revised 0.1 percent drop in February.

Chemical manufacturer fined $80,000 for lack of proper procedures

Chemical manufacturer Harcros Chemicals Inc. is facing penalties totaling $80,000 following an investigation by the U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA).

OSHA investigated the Kansas City-based company after receiving a complaint in October 2015. The agency reported that its inspectors found violations of process safety management procedures, which include requirements for the management of hazards associated with processes using highly hazardous chemicals.

Harcros was given 15 working days from receipt of its citations and proposed penalties to correct the violations and pay the penalty, request a meeting with an OSHA representative, or contest the findings.

Renewable chemical manufacturing market expected to grow

The global renewable chemical manufacturing market is expected to grow at a compounded annual growth rate of 12.71 percent between 2015 and 2022, according to a new report from Brisk Insights. Renewable chemicals are made using raw materials such as corn, sugarcane, sugar beet, wheat, cassava, vegetable oils, coconut oil, palm oil, palm kernel oil and castor oil.

Strict rules and regulations from regulatory authorities are projected to keep a check on products that damage of the environment, and the availability and consumer interest in renewable chemicals at a reasonable price is growing. Research and development along with university collaboration and application of chemicals to increase the yield for end users are also expected to have an impact.

North America has the largest share in the global market followed by Europe, Asia Pacific and rest of the world, but Asia Pacific is expected grow to dominance with the developing economies in China and India.