Data collected and tabulated by the American Chemistry Council show that led by a large decline in China due to the COVID-19 coronavirus, global chemicals production fell 2.4% in February, an acceleration from the 0.8% decline in January. Headline global production was off 1.5% year-over-year (Y/Y) on a three-month moving average basis and stood at 115.0% of its average 2012 levels.
During February, global capacity rose by 0.3% and was up 3.3% Y/Y. As a result, with the decline in production, capacity utilization in the global chemical industry fell 2.1 points to 79.3%. This is down from 83.2% last January, below the long-term (1987-2017) average of 86.5%, and the first time below 80% since August 2009.