U.S. chemical exports grew 1.8 percent to $191 billion dollars in 2012, with growth expected to reach 4.7 percent in 2013, according to the American Chemistry Council’s year-end report.
The industry benefited in 2012 from increased production of natural gas from shale deposits. Exports will continue to grow at a rate of 6.2 percent to $209 billion in 2014 as shale-gas production increases.
“Following a decade of high and volatile natural gas prices that destroyed industrial demand and lead to the closure of many gas-intensive manufacturers, shale gas offers a new era of American competitiveness that will lead to greater investment, industry growth, and employment,” says Kevin Swift, ACC’s chief economist and lead author of the report.
The chemical industry in the U.S. has experienced weakened domestic chemical demand as overall manufacturing recovery has slowed, according to the report.
While overall shipments in the chemical industry slipped 1.5 percent in 2012, they are expected to increase nearly 9 percent over the next two years, to $794 billion in 2013 and $833 billion in 2014.
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