Contact: Patrick Hurston (202) 249-6506
WASHINGTON (June 3, 2013) – According to the American Chemistry Council (ACC), the U.S. Chemical Production Regional Index (U.S. CPRI) slipped by 0.1 percent in April, following a downwardly revised 0.5 percent decline in March. Chemical production rose in the Ohio Valley and Northeast.
On a three-month moving average (3MMA), output of the nation’s overall manufacturing sector posted a 0.1 percent gain in April, following a similar gain in March. Within the manufacturing sector, output in several key chemistry end-use markets grew, including rubber products, motor vehicles, machinery, fabricated metal products, plastics products, semiconductors, and computers. Domestic manufacturing demand for U.S. manufactured goods is a key driver for U.S. chemistry. As manufacturing has weakened during recent months, demand for chemistry has softened.
Also measured on a 3MMA basis, overall chemical production was again mixed. Gains in the output of adhesives, coatings, chlor-alkali, consumer products, other specialties, and synthetic rubber were offset by lower production of organic chemicals, pesticides, pharmaceuticals, industrial gases, manmade fibers, plastic resins, fertilizers, and synthetic dyes and pigments.
Compared to April 2012, total chemical production in all regions was up by 0.5 percent, following a 0.3 percent year-over-year gain in March. The year-over-year comparisons were ahead in the Gulf Coast, Ohio Valley, and Southeast regions. Comparing the first four months of 2013 to those in 2012, chemical production was up 0.6 percent nationally, with three of the seven regions posting gains.
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 April reflects production activity during February, March, and April.
Following a revised 0.8 percent decline in March, chemical production in the Gulf Coast region fell by 0.4 percent in April. In April, production was up 1.9 percent compared to a year before, and was up by 2.3 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 slipped by 0.1 percent during April, following an upwardly revised 0.4 percent decline in March. Compared to April 2012, Midwest chemical production was off by 0.1 percent, and was also off by 0.1 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 0.2 percent in April, following a revised 0.3 percent decline in March. Compared to April 2012, production in the region was up by 4.2 percent, and was also up 4.2 percent on a year-to-date basis.
In the Mid-Atlantic region, where pharmaceutical manufacturing is prominent, chemical production edged lower by 0.1 percent in April, following a revised 0.4 percent decline during March. Compared to April 2012, Mid-Atlantic chemical production was down by 1.1 percent, and was off 1.2 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 down by 0.1 percent in April, following a revised 0.5 percent decline during March. Compared to April 2012, Southeast region chemical production was up by 0.2 percent year-over-year and was higher by 0.1 percent on a year-to-date basis.
In the Northeast region, which is influenced by pharmaceutical manufacturing and other specialty chemical manufacturing, chemical production rose by 0.1 percent during April, following an upwardly revised 0.3 percent decline in March. Compared to April 2012, Northeast region chemical production was down by 0.2 percent, and was off by 0.3 percent on a year-to-date basis.
In the West Coast region, chemical production was flat in April, following a revised 0.3 percent decline in March. Chemical production in the West Coast region was off 1.6 percent from last year and remained down 1.9 percent on a year-to-date basis.