Global chemical output returns to growth

Prod Jan10.jpgThe above chart, based on data from the excellent weekly American Chemistry Council report, highlights the changes in chemical production over the past year.
November saw world production (black line) finally turn positive again versus the previous 12 months, for the first time since August 2008. For an industry used to steady growth in line with GDP, the past 15 months have been traumatic. And, of course, as the ACC note, total production in 2009 seems likely to be down 3.8% versus 2008.
The strength of China’s recovery is also highlighted in the chart, with Asia Pacific output (dotted brown line) up 8% versus November 2008. N America (blue) and W Europe (green) also saw production rebound, although at a slower 3% rate. This was in line with the Middle East’s performance (purple), although the latter was more impressive as it grew steadily till May 2009, before entering a shallow downturn.
Still showing negative annual growth are Latin America (pink), down 4%, and Central/Eastern Europe (light blue), down 9%. This highlights how those with small domestic regional markets have been worst affected by the overall fall in demand. Hopefully, though, these regions will also soon start to see a return to annual growth during 2010.

2 thoughts on “Global chemical output returns to growth”

  1. Hemant Rajan Naidu

    Dear Paul,
    Alongwith the % annual change trend, won’t it be a good idea to also have the absolute production figures in the same chart. That way we can also compare the production levels accross the time period and see where it lies wrt the 2008 – 2009 period.
    Hemant Rajan Naidu.

  2. Dear Hemant
    Many thanks for your comment.
    I agree with you that this is also a useful trend to follow, and I intend to feature this next month, when the end-year figures should hopefully avaiable.
    In the meantime, the chart showing the position at the end of H1 2009 is available as the 1 October 2009 post.

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