Global chemical production closes Q1 2017 on a soft note

During March, capacity utilisation in the global business of chemistry slipped 0.2 percentage points to 78.0 percent. This is off from 79.4 percent last March and is below the long-term (1987-2016) average of 88.7 percent.

During March 2017, chemical production decreased in every region except Africa, the Middle East and Asia-Pacific. (Image: Orpic aromatics plant)
During March 2017, chemical production decreased in every region except Africa, the Middle East and Asia-Pacific. (Image: Orpic aromatics plant)

The American Chemistry Council's (ACC) Global Chemical Production Regional Index (Global CPRI) shows that the first quarter ended on a soft note, with headline global production slipping back 0.1 percent in March, as measured on a three-month moving average (3MMA) basis.

This follows a revised 0.1 percent drop in February and a revised 0.4 percent gain in January. During March, chemical production decreased in every region except Africa, the Middle East and Asia-Pacific.

The Global CPRI was up 1.3 percent year-over-year (Y/Y) on a 3MMA basis and stood at 108.9 percent of its average 2012 levels in March.

During March, capacity utilisation in the global business of chemistry slipped 0.2 percentage points to 78.0 percent. This is off from 79.4 percent last March and is below the long-term (1987-2016) average of 88.7 percent.

Results were mixed on a product basis during March, with gains in agricultural chemicals, bulk petrochemicals and organics, and plastic resins. Considering Y/Y comparisons, growth was strongest in plastic resins followed by coatings and inorganic chemicals.

ACC’s Global CPRI measures the production volume of the business of chemistry 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 business of chemistry. This data are the only timely source of market trends for the global chemical industry and are comparable to the US CPRI data, a timely source of US regional chemical production.

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