Last updateThu, 23 May 2019 6pm


U.S. Chemical Production Lower in March

According to the American Chemistry Council, the U.S. Chemical Production Regional Index fell by 0.4% in March, following a revised 0.3% decline in February and a 0.1% gain in January. During March, chemical output was higher in the Northeast and West Coast regions, but fell in the Gulf Coast, Midwest, Ohio Valley and Southeast regions. Output in the Mid-Atlantic region was flat.

Chemical production was mixed over the three-month period. There were gains in the production three-month moving average output trend in adhesives, coatings, other specialty chemicals, synthetic rubber, fertilizers, crop protection chemicals, consumer products and chlor-alkali. These increases were offset by declines in the output of plastic resins, organic chemicals, industrial gases, manufactured fibers and other inorganic chemicals.

Reverse Internships Take Aim at STEM Worker Shortage

Microenterprises located on the Ranken Technical College campus in St. Louis are now being referred to by some as "reverse internships," Industry Week reports.

“Students learn how to perform a range of technical services, from inspecting parts and assembling products, to testing functions, conducting quality control and filing reports” and “companies provide leading-edge equipment and technologies.”

UL Panel Upholds ISA Appeal of UL Cybersecurity Standard

An appeals panel formed by Underwriters Laboratories (UL) has ruled in favor of the International Society of Automation (ISA) in an appeal against UL 2900-2-2, Standard for Software Cybersecurity for Network-Connectable Devices, Part 2-2: Particular Requirements for Industrial Control Systems. UL was seeking approval of the document as an American National Standard, but ISA's successful appeal prevents that status at this time.

ISA's appeal was driven by an underlying goal in standards development—to avoid burdening users with overlapping and duplicating standards. ISA was specifically concerned about overlap with the widely used ISA/IEC 62443 series of standards on industrial automation and control systems security.

U.S. Continues to Lead in NGL, Crude Production

The American Petroleum Institute’s latest monthly statistical report showed that the U.S. sustained its position as the world’s leading oil producer, continuing a pace of 12.1 million barrels a day (b/d), matching February 2019. In addition, petroleum demand in March was the strongest for that month in more than a decade at 20.7 million b/d.

U.S. Specialty Chemical Markets Eased in March

The American Chemistry Council reported that U.S. specialty chemicals market volumes eased 0.2% in March after flat activity in February and a 0.3% gain in January. During March, the overall specialty chemicals volume index was up 3.8% year-over-year. Performance chemistry reflects trends in manufacturing. For the first quarter as a whole, specialty chemical market volumes were essentially flat.

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