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ACC: U.S. Chemical Production Ends Year in Positive Territory

According to the American Chemistry Council (ACC), the U.S. Chemical Production Regional Index (U.S. CPRI) rose 0.3% in December, following a revised 0.1% gain in November. Chemical production rose in all major producing regions for the first time since February 2012.

Domestic demand for U.S. manufactured goods is a key driver for U.S. chemistry. With improvements in export markets, vehicle production, and construction, manufacturing ended the year on a positive note. This bodes well for U.S. chemical production at the start of 2013.

Based on a three-month moving average, output of the nation’s overall manufacturing sector posted a 0.5% gain in December, following a 0.2% gain in November. Within the manufacturing sector, output in several key chemistry end-use markets increased, including appliances, motor vehicles, construction materials, computers, semiconductors, structural panels, plastic and rubber products, paper, textile products and apparel.

Also measured on a three-month moving average basis, chemical production was mixed. Gains in the output of organic chemicals, industrial gases, plastic resins, manmade fibers, synthetic rubber, consumer products, and other specialty chemicals were offset by lower production of pharmaceuticals, pesticides, fertilizers, and inorganic chemicals.

Compared to December 2011, total chemical production in all regions was up by 0.2%, following a 0.3% year-over-year gain in November. The year-over-year comparisons remained ahead in the Gulf Coast and Ohio Valley regions. Buoyed by continued advantages from shale gas, production from these two regions, in particular, has outpaced overall chemical production. Comparing the entire year 2012 to 2011, chemical production was up 0.2% nationally, with only the Gulf Coast and Ohio Valley regions posting gains for the year.

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