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How the Chemical Industry is Faring and Other News

Jobless claims were higher, and other industry news you might have missed.

4 Slides

The American Chemistry Council has released its weekly chemical reportk from July 29.

According to the Association of American Railroads, chemical railcar loadings were up to 33,029 for the week ending July 29, 2023. Loadings were down 4.5% Y/Y (13-week MA), down (4.2%) YTD/YTD and have been on the rise for eight of the last 13 weeks. 

The ISM Manufacturing PMI report stated the chemical industry reportedly contracted in July. Production, employment, inventories, order backlogs, export orders and imports were all lower. New orders were reportedly higher for chemical products, the only one of the six largest manufacturing sectors to report growth in orders.

Customers’ inventories continued to be assessed as “too low.” The chemical industry reported faster supplier deliveries in July. One chemical industry respondent noted, “Sales in our industry are extremely slow entering into the second half of the year, and no upturn is expected until at least the fourth quarter.” 

Employment

Chemical and pharmaceutical industry employment fell by 0.5% (4,600) in July to 913,400, just after a decline in June. Total employment is 0.5% higher compared to a year ago, however. The decline in July reflected lower employment in both production workers and supervisory and non-production workers. 

ACC weekly chemical report

Shipments

Chemical shipments rose in June following three consecutive declines. Shipments of chemicals were up 0.6% to $52.7 billion with gains across all three segments. Inventories of chemicals fell 0.7%, following flat growth in May. Compared to a year ago, shipments were down 1.8% Y/Y while inventories were off 2.4% Y/Y. The inventories-to-sales ratio moved lower from 1.26 in May to 1.24 in June. 

Global CPRI

The ACC Global Chemical Production Regional Index (Global CPRI) inched down by 0.2% in June, following flat growth in May. Africa & Middle East and Asia led the decline in chemical production. The decline in May reflects slowing chemical production in several major producing countries, including China, Korea, Taiwan, Germany, Italy, Spain and United Kingdom. Global output is down in all segments, with agricultural chemicals showing the sharpest decline. Global chemicals production growth was flat Y/Y.

Chemical industry construction spending rose by 1.7% in June to a seasonally adjusted annual pace of $35.5 billion. That was 23.2% higher than a year ago.

About the Author(s)

Powder Bulk Solids Staff

Established in 1983, Powder & Bulk Solids (PBS) serves industries that process, handle, and package dry particulate matter, including the food, chemical, and pharmaceutical markets.

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