U.S. Chemical Production Edged Lower In April

WASHINGTON, May 20, 2020 /PRNewswire/ -- According to the American Chemistry Council (ACC), the U.S. Chemical Production Regional Index (U.S. CPRI) tumbled 3.1 percent in April following a 1.0 percent decline in March and a 0.4 percent decline in February. During April, chemical output fell across all regions, with the steepest decline in the Gulf Coast region. The lower level of chemical activity is directly related to supply chain disruptions and the lockdown of much of the U.S. economy during April.

Production fell across all chemical segments. Within several major segments, however, production of some chemical materials increased, including supply chains tied to personal protective equipment (PPE) and disinfection products.

As nearly all manufactured goods are produced using chemistry in some form, manufacturing activity is an important indicator for chemical demand. With many factories shut down during the month, overall manufacturing activity fell by 6.3 percent on a three-month moving average (3MMA) basis, with declines across all industry sectors - in some cases quite steep.

Compared with April 2019, U.S. chemical production was 5.3 percent lower, the eleventh and highest consecutive month of year-over-year declines. Chemical production was lower than a year ago in all regions, with the largest declines in the Northeast, Mid-Atlantic, and West Coast regions.

                                                  U.S. Chemical Production Regional Index, Percentage Change

                                                  (Seasonally adjusted, 3-month moving average)

          Apr 20/       
            Apr 20/        
            Key products
                                Mar 20               Apr 19

        Gulf Coast                           -3.3%                   -3.9%   
            petrochemicals, inorganics, plastics resins, and synthetic rubber

       Midwest                              -3.0%                   -5.9%   
            agricultural chemicals, plastics, and paints

        Ohio Valley                          -3.2%                   -6.5%            organic chemicals, plastics and synthetic materials, and specialty chemicals

        Mid-Atlantic                         -3.1%                   -7.0%   
            consumer products

       Southeast                            -3.1%                   -6.0%   
            inorganic chemicals, fibers, and consumer products

       Northeast                            -3.1%                   -7.0%   
            consumer products and specialty chemicals

        West Coast                           -3.0%                   -6.9%   
            basic chemicals, agricultural chemicals, and consumer products


                     U.S. Total              -3.1%                   -5.3%


The chemistry industry is one of the largest industries in the United States, a $553 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 to track chemical production activity in seven regions of the United States. The U.S. CPRI is based on information from the Federal Reserve, and includes monthly revisions as published by the Federal Reserve. To smooth month-to-month fluctuations, the U.S. CPRI is measured using a three-month moving average. The April reading reflects production activity during February, March and April.

The American Chemistry Council (ACC) represents the leading companies engaged in the business of chemistry. ACC members apply the science of chemistry to make innovative products and services that make people's lives better, healthier and safer. ACC is committed to improved environmental, health and safety performance through Responsible Care, common sense advocacy designed to address major public policy issues, and health and environmental research and product testing. The business of chemistry is a $553 billion enterprise and a key element of the nation's economy. It is one of the nation's largest exporters, representing ten cents out of every dollar in U.S. exports. Chemistry companies are among the largest investors in research and development. Safety and security have always been primary concerns of ACC members, and they have intensified their efforts, working closely with government agencies to improve security and to defend against any threat to the nation's critical infrastructure.

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SOURCE American Chemistry Council