U.S. chemical production increased in May, making it the fifth consecutive month in which chemical output went up, according to the latest monthly report published by the American Chemistry Council (ACC).
Chemical production rose across all regions in the United States except for the West Coast, with an overall increase of 0.4 percent in May, Zacks Research reported. Although the growth rate may seem rather modest, it comes after a 0.6 percent rise recorded in April, the ACC said. Overall chemical production rose by 2.1 percent year-on-year in May.
The bulk of the increase could be put down to a rebound in manufacturing production, which picked up in activity after the long and cold winter, seeing a 0.5 percent increase in output. Demand for chemicals was particularly strong in the automotive, industrial machinery and equipment sectors.
Significant gains in chemical production were recorded in the Gulf Coast where the majority of key feedstocks are produced. Output in the region went up 1 percent in May, compared to another solid rise of 0.7 percent in April. The index showed that output edged up 0.2 percent in several regions, including the Midwest, the Southeast and the Northeast, while the Mid-Atlantic saw a more modest gain of 0.1 percent. The West Coast was the only region where production fell, by 0.2 percent, the report said.