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WASHINGTON (September 28, 2020) – Data collected and tabulated by the American Chemistry Council (ACC) show that global chemicals production rose 2.7 percent in August, an improving pace from July. The increase reflects the continuing global recovery that began in June following declining activity for January through May. During August, chemical production showed fairly strong growth in every region. Headline global production was off 1.8 percent year-over-year (Y/Y) on a three-month moving average (3MMA) basis and off 2.2 percent from the peak December level. Global output stood at 116.0 percent of its average 2012 levels.

During August, global capacity rose 0.2 percent and was up 2.6 percent Y/Y. With improving production, capacity utilization in the global chemical industry rose 1.9 points, to 79.1 percent. This is down from 82.6 percent last August and below the long-term (1987-2017) average of 86.5 percent.

Among chemical industry segments, August results were positive, with strong gains across all segments. Considering year-earlier comparisons, growth was mixed, with gains in plastic resins, synthetic rubber, manufactured fibers, and consumer products, but weakness elsewhere, with a strong year-earlier decline in coatings and other specialties. 

ACC’s Global Chemical Production Regional Index (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 more than 65 nations accounting for about 98 percent of the total global chemical industry. This data set 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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