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U.S. Chemical Production Steady In November

Fri, 12/21/2012 - 12:53pm

WASHINGTON (December 21, 2012) — According to the American Chemistry Council (ACC), the U.S. Chemical Production Regional Index (U.S. CPRI) was flat in November, following a revised 0.1 percent decline in October. Chemical production rose in all regions except the Gulf Coast, the largest chemical producing region.

Based on a three-month moving average, output of the nation’s overall manufacturing sector posted a 0.1 percent gain in November, following a 0.6 percent decline in October. Within the manufacturing sector, output in several key chemistry end-use markets increased, including appliances, motor vehicles, aerospace, construction materials, structural panels, plastic and rubber products, paper, textile products and apparel. Some of the gains reflect rebounding activity following disruptions caused by Superstorm Sandy, but other gains reflect more sustainable trends.

Also measured on a three-month moving average basis, chemical production was mixed. Gains in the output of organic chemicals, plastic resins, manmade fibers, synthetic rubber, consumer products, pharmaceuticals and other specialty chemicals were offset by lower production of pesticides, fertilizers, inorganic chemicals, industrial gases, coatings, and adhesives.

Compared to November 2011, total chemical production in all regions was up by 0.2 percent, following a 0.1 percent year-over-year decline in October. The year-over-year comparisons were ahead in the Gulf Coast and Ohio Valley regions. On a year-to-date basis (comparing the first eleven months of 2012 with those in 2011), chemical production was up 0.2 percent nationally, with only the Gulf Coast and Ohio Valley regions ahead on a year-to-date basis reflecting, in part, higher exports of plastic resins during the year.

The chemistry industry is one of the largest industries in the United States, a $760 billion enterprise. The manufacturing sector is the largest consumer of chemical products, and 96 percent of manufactured goods are touched by chemistry.

The U.S. CPRI was developed by Moore Economics to track chemical production activity in seven regions of the United States. It is comparable to the U.S. industrial production index for chemicals published by the Federal Reserve. The U.S. CPRI is based on information from the Federal Reserve. To smooth month-to-month fluctuations, the U.S. CPRI is measured using a three-month moving average. Thus, the reading in November reflects production activity during September, October, and November. 

 

U.S. Chemical Production Regional Index, Percentage Change

(Seasonally adjusted, 3-month moving average)

 

Current Month

Prior Month

Year/Year

 

Year-to-Date

 

 

Nov 12/
Oct 12

Oct 12/
Sep 12

Nov 12/
Nov 11

YTD 12/
YTD 11

 

 

Gulf Coast

-0.1%

0.3%

2.0%

0.2%

 

 

Midwest

0.1%

0.5%

-0.4%

-0.5%

 

 

Ohio Valley

0.1%

0.4%

3.3%

1.9%

 

 

Mid-Atlantic

0.2%

0.6%

-1.5%

-1.1%

 

 

Southeast

0.1%

0.4%

-0.2%

-0.2%

 

 

Northeast

0.3%

0.6%

-0.8%

-0.2%

 

 

West Coast

0.2%

0.5%

-2.1%

-1.3%

 

 

     U.S. Total

0.0%

0.1%

0.2%

0.2%

 

 

          

Following a revised 0.3 percent gain in October, chemical production in the Gulf Coast region slipped by 0.1 percent in November. Compared to a year ago, production was up 2.0 percent, but was up by 0.2 percent on a year-to-date basis. The Gulf Coast region is dominated by the production of key building block materials, such as petrochemicals, inorganics, and synthetic materials.

In the Midwest region, which is influenced by production of agricultural chemicals, plastics, paints, and other chemical products, chemical production edged up by 0.1 percent during November, following a revised 0.5 percent gain in October. Compared to November 2011, Midwest chemical production was down by 0.4 percent, and was off 0.5 percent on a year-to-date basis.

In the Ohio Valley region, which is largely influenced by production of basic chemicals, plastics and synthetic rubber, coatings, and consumer products, chemical production rose by 0.1 percent in November, following a revised 0.4 percent gain in October. Compared to November 2011, production in the region was up by 3.3 percent, and was up 1.9 percent on a year-to-date basis.

In the Mid-Atlantic region, where pharmaceutical manufacturing is prominent, chemical production increased by 0.2 percent in November, following a revised 0.6 percent gain in October. Compared to November 2011, Mid-Atlantic chemical production was off 1.5 percent, and was off 1.1 percent on a year-to-date basis.

In the Southeast region, which is influenced heavily by production of basic chemicals, fibers, agricultural and other chemical products, chemical production edged up by 0.1 percent in November, following a revised 0.4 percent gain during October. Compared to November 2011, Southeast region chemical production was off by 0.2 percent year-over-year, and off by 0.2 percent on a year-to-date basis.

In the Northeast region, which is influenced by pharmaceutical manufacturing and other specialty chemical manufacturing, chemical rose by 0.3 percent during November, following a revised 0.6 percent gain in October. Compared to November 2011, Northeast region chemical production was off 0.8 percent, and was off by 0.2 percent on a year-to-date basis.

In the West Coast region, chemical production rose by 0.2 percent in November, after a revised 0.5 percent gain in October. Chemical production in the West Coast region was off 2.1 percent from last year, and remained down 1.3 percent on a year-to-date basis.

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