US chemical production improves in July

Aug. 26, 2020
During July, chemical output expanded in all regions, with the largest gains in the Gulf Coast, Midwest and Ohio Valley regions, according to the American Chemistry Council.

WASHINGTON, Aug. 24, 2020 (PRNewswire) — According to the American Chemistry Council (ACC), the U.S. Chemical Production Regional Index (U.S. CPRI) rose by 0.8 percent in July following a 1.6 percent decline in June and a 2.0 percent decline in May. During July, chemical output expanded in all regions, with the largest gains in the Gulf Coast, Midwest and Ohio Valley regions. The U.S. CPRI is measured on a three-month moving average (3MMA) basis.

Chemical production improved in many segments, including, plastic resins, chlor-alkali, organic chemicals, industrial gases, synthetic dyes and pigments, consumer products, and fertilizers. Production continued to move lower in adhesives, coatings, other specialty chemicals, crop protection, synthetic rubber and manufactured fibers.

As nearly all manufactured goods are produced using chemistry in some form, manufacturing activity is an important indicator for chemical demand. The recovery strengthened in July, with overall factory activity up by 4.9 percent on a 3MMA basis. Among industry segments, there was broad improvement, with gains in the output of food and beverages, appliances, motor vehicles, aerospace, construction supplies, fabricated metal products, computers, semiconductors, refining, iron and steel, foundries, plastic products, rubber products, tires, structural panels, printing, textile mill products, apparel and furniture.

Compared with July 2019, U.S. chemical production was off by 5.9 percent – the fourteenth consecutive month of year-over-year declines, but an improvement over the past several months. Chemical production remained lower than a year ago in all regions, with the largest declines in the Northeast and West Coast regions.

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