HOUSTON (ICIS)–US chemical production fell by 1.4% in September from August on the American Chemistry Council’s (ACC) US Chemical Production Regional Index (CPRI) because of Hurricane Harvey, the US chemical industry trade group said on Tuesday.
Harvey made landfall on 25 August over eastern Texas, knocking out chemical plants and refineries on the Texas Gulf Coast and impacting the wider North American chemicals industry.
“The steep decline in September reflected severe, but temporary, disruptions from Hurricane Harvey,” ACC said.
During September, output declined in all regions except the west coast, which posted flat growth. For the US Gulf Coast, the index was down 4.5% from August.
September’s decline in the CPRI came after a 0.2% decline in August and 1.0% increase in July.
Compared with September 2016, the index was up 1.2% year on year.
For the three months from July to September, US chemical production was “mixed”, ACC said.
Gains in the three-month moving average output trend of consumer products, pharmaceuticals, coatings, other specialty chemicals, industrial gases, fertilizers and pesticides were offset by declines in the output trend in organic chemicals, plastic resins, manufactured fibres, chlor-alkali, other organic chemicals, adhesives and synthetic rubber, the group said.
As nearly all manufactured goods are produced using chemistry in some form or another, manufacturing activity is an important indicator for chemical production, ACC said.
On a three-month-moving average basis, manufacturing activity edged lower by 0.1% in September, following a similar decline in August.
Production expanded in several chemistry-intensive manufacturing industries, including food and beverages, aerospace, construction supplies, fabricated metal products, computers and electronics, semiconductors, plastic and rubber products, as well as structural panels, the group added.