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Mideast chemicals output rises in April

Growth was strongest in manufactured fibres followed by bulk petrochemicals and organics, synthetic rubber, coatings, and plastic resins

July 2019

The global chemical industry has taken off on a positive note in the second quarter with April seeing an uptick in chemical production, according to the recently-released monthly report from the American Chemistry Council (ACC).

Data collected and tabulated by the chemical industry group shows that global chemicals production rose 0.3 per cent in April. This follows a 0.1 per cent gain in March and a 0.2 per cent gain in February.

During April, chemical production increased in North America, the Former Soviet Union (FSU), Africa and the Middle East, and Asia-Pacific. Activity was flat in Europe and fell in Latin America. With softness earlier last year, the Global Chemical Production Regional Index (CPRI) was up 2.3 per cent year-over-year (YoY) on a three-month moving average (3MMA) basis and stood at 117.1 per cent of its average 2012 levels.

During April, global capacity rose by 0.3 per cent and was up 3.7 per cent YoY. As a result, capacity utilisation in the global chemical industry slipped 0.1 points to 83 per cent. This is down from 84.2 per cent last April and below the long-term (1987-2017) average of 86.4 per cent.

Among chemical industry segments, April results were mixed on a product basis, with gains in consumer products, bulk petrochemicals and organics, plastic resins, synthetic rubber, manufactured fibres, coatings and other specialties offset by weakness in agricultural chemicals and inorganic chemicals. Considering year-earlier comparisons, growth was strongest in manufactured fibres followed by bulk petrochemicals and organics, synthetic rubber, coatings, and plastic resins.

ACC’s 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 over 65 nations accounting for about 98 per cent 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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