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Hurricane IDA Impacted Q3 Chemical Markets

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Lingering Impacts from Hurricane Ida Weighed on U.S. Chemical Production in October
Jennifer Scott

WASHINGTON (December 1, 2021) – 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.
US Chemical Regional Production Index

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.
US Chemical Regional Production Index, Percentage Change – December 1, 2021

The chemistry industry is one of the largest industries in the United States, a $486 billion enterprise. The manufacturing sector is the largest consumer of chemical products, and 96% of manufactured goods are touched by chemistry. The U.S. CPRI was developed to track chemical production activity in seven regions of the United States. The U.S. CPRI is based on information from the Federal Reserve, and as such, includes monthly revisions as published by the Federal Reserve. The U.S. CPRI includes the most recent Federal Reserve benchmark revision released on May 28, 2021. To smooth month-to-month fluctuations, the U.S. CPRI is measured using a three-month moving average. Thus, the reading in October reflects production activity during August, September, and October.

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