Led by a large decline in China due to the effects of the COVID-19 coronavirus, the American Chemistry Council’s Global Chemical Production Regional Index shows that global chemicals production fell by 1.0% in January, a reversal of gains in November and December. During January, chemical production increased in Latin America, the Former Soviet Union, and Africa and the Middle East. Production fell in North America, Europe, and Asia-Pacific. Headline global production was up only 0.9% year-over-year on a three-month moving average basis and stood at 117.6% of its average 2012 levels.
Among chemical industry segments, January results were mixed, with bulk petrochemicals and organics, plastic resins, synthetic rubber, and manufactured fibers showing gains. Production was soft in other segments. Considering year-earlier comparisons, growth was strongest in manufactured fibers, followed by synthetic rubber, plastic resins, coatings, and bulk petrochemicals and organics.