Data collected and tabulated by the American Chemistry Council show that the global chemical industry ended the first quarter on a soft note. The American Chemistry Council’s Global Chemical Production Regional Index (Global CPRI) shows that global chemicals production fell 0.3% in March, following a 1% drop in February, and a 0.6% decline in January. The last gain was reportedly 0.3% in December. Note that all data are on a three-month moving average (3MMA) basis.

During March, production gains were in North America, the Former Soviet Union, and Africa and Middle East, with weakness elsewhere. The Global CPRI was up 2%t year-over-year (Y/Y) on a 3MMA basis and stood at 113.9% of its average 2012 levels in February. Capacity utilization in the global chemical industry eased 0.4% points to 84.1%, down from 85.6% last March and below the long-term (1987-2017) average of 86.5%.

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