Global chemicals production eased 0.2% in March, a pause in the global recovery that began last June, according to data collected and tabulated by the American Chemistry Council. During March, chemical output grew in Africa and the Middle East and the Asia-Pacific region and was weak elsewhere. Headline global production was up 18.1% year-over-year (Y/Y) on a three-month moving average basis. Global output stood at 131.8% of its average 2012 levels. Output was down a year ago due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
During March, global capacity rose 0.2% and was up 2.1% Y/Y. With easing output, capacity utilization in the global chemical industry slipped 0.3 points to 88.8%. This is well above last March and above the long-term (1987-2019) average of 86.3%. Among chemical industry segments, March results were negative, with gains seen only in other specialty chemicals. Considering year-earlier comparisons, production gains occurred in all segments.