Hurricane Ida Continues To Weigh On U.S. Chemical Production

Dec. 3, 2021
With lingering hurricane and other supply chain disruptions, the largest decline was in the Gulf Coast region.

The U.S. Chemical Production Regional Index (U.S. CPRI) eased by 0.3% in October following a 1.6% decline in September and a 0.4% decline in August, according to the American Chemistry Council (ACC). Chemical output declined in all regions except the Northeast. With lingering hurricane and other supply chain disruptions, the largest decline was in the Gulf Coast region. The U.S. CPRI is measured as a three-month moving average (3MMA).

Chemical production was mixed in October (3MMA), with an improving trend in the production of synthetic rubber, manufactured fibers, other specialty chemicals, fertilizers, adhesives, coatings and consumer products. These gains were offset by weakness in organic chemicals, plastic resins, basic inorganic chemicals, industrial gases and crop protection chemicals.

As nearly all manufactured goods are produced using chemistry in some form, manufacturing activity is an important indicator for chemical demand. Manufacturing output edged higher for a sixth consecutive month in October, by 0.1% (3MMA). The 3MMA trend in manufacturing production was mixed, with gains in the output of food and beverages, aerospace, construction supplies, fabricated metal products, machinery, computers, semiconductors, refining, iron and steel products, plastic products, rubber products, tires, paper, printing, apparel and furniture.

Compared with October 2020, U.S. chemical production was ahead by 2.2%, a weaker comparison than last month, due to lingering impacts from Hurricane Ida. Chemical production continued to be higher than a year ago in all regions, however.

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