February 18, 2020

4 Min Read
U.S. Chemical Production Edges Higher to Start the Year
Chemical production in the U.S. rose by 0.1% in January, according to the American Chemistry Council (ACC). Image courtesy of Pixabay

According to the American Chemistry Council (ACC), the U.S. Chemical Production Regional Index (U.S. CPRI) edged higher by 0.1% in January following a 0.1% decline in December and a 0.2% decline in November. During January, chemical output declined across all regions except the Gulf Coast.

Chemical production was mixed over the three-month period. There were gains in the three-month moving average (3MMA) output trend of organic chemicals, plastic resins, chlor-alkali, industrial gases, synthetic dyes and pigments, other inorganic chemicals, synthetic rubber, manufactured fibers, and fertilizers. These gains were offset by declines in the output of coatings, adhesives, other specialty chemicals, crop protection chemicals, and consumer products.

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Nearly all manufactured goods are produced using chemistry in some form. Thus, manufacturing activity is an important indicator for chemical production. On a 3MMA basis, manufacturing activity rose by 0.3% in January, a second consecutive increase following three months of declines. Output expanded in several chemistry-intensive manufacturing industries, including food and beverages, appliances, motor vehicles, construction supplies, computers and electronics, semiconductors, refining, iron and steel products, foundries, oil and gas extraction, plastic products, rubber products, paper, printing, and furniture.

Compared with January 2019, U.S. chemical production was off by 1.6% on a year-over-year (Y/Y) basis, the eighth consecutive month of Y/Y declines. Chemical production was lower than a year ago in all regions, with the largest declines in the Mid-Atlantic, Northeast, and Ohio Valley regions.

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