U.S. chemical production expanded at a slower pace in 2019 due to trade challenges and slower growth in several key end-use markets for chemistry, according to the American Chemistry Council’s (ACC) Year-End 2019 Chemical Industry Situation and Outlook. Weakness in global manufacturing and uncertainty in trade policy will further moderate U.S. chemicals output growth in 2020. On the other hand, output from new capacity linked to the shale gas advantage will provide tailwinds.
Total U.S. chemicals trade is projected to contract by 3% to $242 billion in 2019, then recover by 1% in 2020. Exports will fall 2.5% to $137 billion in 2019 before expanding by 1.1% to $138 billion in 2020. U.S. chemicals imports will fall 3.9% in 2019, to $105 billion.