WASHINGTON (January 4, 2021; ACC release) — Data collected and tabulated by the American Chemistry Council (ACC) show that global chemicals production rose 1.9% in November, up from 1.7% in October and extending the recovery that began in June. During November, chemical production grew in all regions except the Former Soviet Union (FSU). Headline global production was up 3.7% year-over-year (Y/Y) on a three-month moving average (3MMA) basis and is now 2.9% above the pre-COVID peak last December. Global output stood at 122.0 percent of its average 2012 levels.
During November, global capacity rose 0.1% and was up 2.2% Y/Y. With improving production, capacity utilization in the global chemical industry rose 1.5 points to 82.9%. This is up from 81.7% in October and the pre-COVID peak in December 2019, but below the long-term (1987-2017) average of 86.5%.
Among chemical industry segments, November results were positive, with gains across all segments. Considering year-earlier comparisons, growth was mixed, with gains in plastic resins, synthetic rubber, manufactured fibers, bulk petrochemicals and organics, inorganic chemicals, other specialties, agricultural chemicals, and consumer products, but contraction in coatings.
ACC’s Global Chemical Production Regional Index (Global CPRI) measures the production volume of the chemical industry for 33 key nations, sub-regions, and regions, all aggregated to the world total. The index is comparable to the Federal Reserve Board (FRB) production indices and features a similar base year where 2012=100. This index is developed from government industrial production indices for chemicals from more than 65 nations accounting for about 98% of the total global chemical industry. This data set is the only timely source of market trends for the global chemical industry and is comparable to the U.S. CPRI data, a timely source of U.S. regional chemical production.