Retreat in global chemicals output accelerates in September

Retreat in global chemicals output accelerates in September
Published: 3 November 2019 - 8 a.m.
By: Martin Menachery
Data collected and tabulated by the American Chemistry Council (ACC) show that global chemicals production fell by 0.5% in September following a 0.3% decline in August. During September, chemical production increased in North America, Latin America, and Africa and the Middle East. Production fell in other regions. Headline global production was up only 1.3% year-over-year (Y/Y) on a three-month moving average (3MMA) basis and stood at 117.5% of its average 2012 levels.

During September, global chemicals capacity rose by 0.2% and was up 3.5%t Y/Y. As a result, capacity utilisation in the global chemical industry fell 0.6 points, to 81.9%. This is down from 83.8% last September and below the long-term (1987-2017) average of 86.4%.

Among chemical industry segments, September results were mixed, with consumer products and manufactured fibres showing gains. Production was soft in other segments. Considering year-earlier comparisons, growth was strongest in synthetic rubber, followed by manufactured fibres, plastic resins, other specialty chemicals, and coatings.

ACC’s Global Chemical Producing 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 approximately 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 US CPRI data, a timely source of the US regional chemical production.

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