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WASHINGTON (January 31, 2019) – Data collected and tabulated by the American Chemistry Council (ACC) reveal that global chemicals production rose 0.3 percent in December. This follows stable activity in November, a 0.1 percent gain in October, and weak activity in August and September. During December, production gained in North America, Latin America, the former Soviet Union (FSU), Africa and the Middle East, and Asia-Pacific, but fell in Europe. With softness earlier in the year, the Global Chemical Producing Regional Index (Global CPRI) was off 0.3 percent year-over-year (Y/Y) on a three-month moving average (3MMA) basis and stood at 116.1 percent of its average 2012 levels. For 2018 as a whole, global production rose just 0.9 percent.

During December, capacity utilization in the global chemical industry was stable at 83.3 percent. This is down from 86.5 percent last December and below the long-term (1987-2017) average.

Among chemical industry segments, December results were mixed on a product basis, with gains in agricultural chemicals, inorganic chemicals, plastic resins, synthetic rubber, coatings and other specialties offset by weakness elsewhere. Considering year-earlier comparisons, growth was strongest in coatings, followed by bulk petrochemicals and organics and plastic resins.

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

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