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WASHINGTON (April 26, 2019) – Data collected and tabulated by the American Chemistry Council (ACC) show that global chemicals production in the first quarter of 2019 continues at a slow pace, rising 0.1 percent in March. This follows a 0.2 percent gain in February and a 0.1 percent gain in January. During March, chemical production gained in Europe, Africa and the Middle East, and Asia-Pacific and fell in other regions. With softness earlier last year, the Global CPRI was up 2.3 percent year-over-year (Y/Y) on a seasonally adjusted, three-month moving average (3MMA) basis and stood at 116.8 percent of its average 2012 levels.

During March, global chemical industry capacity rose 0.3 percent and was up 3.7 percent Y/Y. As a result, capacity utilization slipped 0.2 points to 83.1 percent. This is down from 84.2 percent last March and below the long-term (1987-2017) average of 86.4 percent.

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

ACC’s Global Chemical Production Regional Index (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 set is the only timely source of market trends for the global chemical industry and is comparable to the US CPRI data, a timely source of U.S. regional chemical production.

Global CPRI April 2019 i

Global CPRI April 2019 ii

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