The Global Chemical Production Regional Index trended higher by 0.6% in September following a revised 0.6% gain in August, according to new data from the American Chemistry Council.
In the U.S., the U.S. Chemical Production Regional Index (U.S. CPRI) was flat in September, following a 0.8% gain in August.
Both indices are measured on a three-month moving average to reduce volatility.
“In September, chemical production increased in all regions with South America recording the strongest gain,” Martha Moore, ACC chief economist, said in a news release. “Even though global production was higher on a year-over-year basis, North America and Europe exhibited some weakness as production trended somewhat below last year’s level.
“In the U.S., restocking activity for basic chemicals and synthetic materials used in a wide variety of manufactured goods picked up a bit in September following a prolonged period of destocking.
“The gain was offset by lower output of specialty chemicals, however.”
Key findings include:
- The gain in September reflects a recovery in China’s chemical production. Despite housing woes and economic slowdown, it seems that China’s production bottomed out in July. Production in Japan also shows strength as production has been positive over the last six months.
- Global output increased in all segments, with synthetic materials showing the highest gain.
- According to U.S CPRI, output in the U.S. was flat in September with gains in the Gulf Coast offsetting declines in other regions of the country.
- The gain in the Gulf Coast reflected stronger production of basic chemicals and synthetic materials that support the manufacture of building materials, automobile parts, and more. The largest declines were in the Northeast, Mid-Atlantic, and West Coast regions, reflecting lower production of specialty chemicals and consumer products.