American Chemistry Council: Global chemicals output accelerates in December

During December, global capacity rose by 0.2% and was up 3.4% Y/Y

During December, chemical production increased in Latin America, the Former Soviet Union, Africa and the Middle East, and the Asia-Pacific region. (Image for illustration only)
During December, chemical production increased in Latin America, the Former Soviet Union, Africa and the Middle East, and the Asia-Pacific region. (Image for illustration only)

Data collected and tabulated by American Chemistry Council (ACC) show that global chemicals production grew by 0.3% in December, a reversal of the 0.2 decline in November. During December, chemical production increased in Latin America, the Former Soviet Union (FSU), Africa and the Middle East, and the Asia-Pacific region.

Production fell in North America and Europe. Headline global production was up only 1.8% year-over-year (Y/Y) on a three-month moving average (3MMA) basis and stood at 118.5% of its average 2012 levels. For 2019 as a whole, global production was up 1.7%.

During December, global capacity rose by 0.2% and was up 3.4% Y/Y. As a result, capacity utilisation in the global chemical industry rose 0.4 points to 82.1%. This is down from 83.3% last December and below the long-term (1987-2017) average of 86.5%.

Among chemical industry segments, December results were mixed, with inorganic chemicals, bulk petrochemicals and organics, plastic resins, coatings, and other specialties showing gains. Production was soft in other segments. Considering year-earlier comparisons, growth was strongest in manufactured fibres, followed by synthetic rubber, plastic resins, other specialties, and coatings.

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% of the total global chemical industry. This data is the only timely source of market trends for the global chemical industry and are comparable to the US CPRI data, a timely source of the US regional chemical production.

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