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US chemical production trend up by 4.6 in May

June 29/2021

MOSCOW (MRC) -- The US Chemical Production Regional Index (US CPRI) grew by 4.6% in May following a 1.2% reduction in April and a 3.4% drop in March, according to Chemical Engineering with reference to  the American Chemistry Council (ACC).

During May, chemical output rose in all regions, reflecting capacity restoration after the winter storms along the Gulf Coast. The US CPRI is measured as a three-month moving average (3MMA). It includes the Federal Reserves recent benchmark revision, whose base year is now 2017.

Chemical production was mixed in May, with an improving trend in production of organic chemicals, plastic resins, chlor-alkali, adhesives, coatings, fertilizers, crop protection chemicals, other specialty chemicals, and miscellaneous inorganic chemicals. These gains were offset by continued weakness in synthetic rubber, synthetic dyes and pigments, manufactured fibers, and consumer products.

As nearly all manufactured goods are produced using chemistry in some form, manufacturing activity is an important indicator for chemical demand. Following a small decline in April, manufacturing output rose in May, by 1.0% (3MMA). The 3MMA trend in manufacturing production was mixed, with gains seen in the output of food and beverages, appliances, aerospace, machinery, fabricated metal products, computers and electronics, semiconductors, oil and gas extraction, refining, iron and steel products, foundries, rubber products, paper, printing, and furniture.

Compared with May 2020, US chemical production remained off by 0.5%, reflecting the lingering impact of Marchs freeze damage. Chemical production was lower than a year ago in all regions except the Gulf Coast, which turned slightly positive.

As MRC reported earlier, the largest US refinery, Motiva Enterprises 607,000 barrel-per-day Port Arthur, Texas, plant, returned to normal operations in early Marhc, 2021. The refinery was shut on Feb. 15 when freezing temperatures, rarely seen on the US Gulf Coast, knocked out steam supply. Motiva began restarting the refinery on Feb. 24.

Besides, Motiva Chemicals has also resumed operations at its mixed-feed cracker in Port Arthur, USA. The process of restart of this cracker with the capacity of 635,000 mt/year of ethylene and 340,000 mt/year of propylene began on 27 February, 2021, and finished in early March. The cracker wa shut along with the refinery at the same site on 14 February, 2021, because of the deep freeze.

Ethylene and propylene are the main feedstocks for the production of polyethylene (PE) and polypropylene (PP), respectively.

According to MRC's ScanPlast report, Russia's estimated PE consumption totalled 744,130 tonnes in the first four month of 2021, up by 4% year on year. Shipments of all PE grades increased. At the same time, PP deliveries to the Russian market were 523,900 tonnes in January-April 2021, up by 55% year on year. Supply of homopolymer PP and PP block copolymers increased, whereas shipments of PP random copolymers decreased.
Author:Margaret Volkova
Tags:PP, PE, crude and gaz condensate, propylene, ethylene, petrochemistry, Motiva Enterprises, USA.
Category:General News
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