The release of the American Chemistry Council’s 2018 Chemical Industry Situation and Outlook always makes interesting reading and this year is no different. It reports dynamic growth in the US – economic growth remains dynamic, manufacturing growth has nearly doubled, and chemicals output has improved. All this on the back of the copious energy and feedstock supplies that the US has paints a rosy picture.
The bare figures are encouraging with total chemical production volume (excluding pharma) rising by 3.1 per cent in 2018 and is expected to grow by 3.6 per cent in 2019, while base chemicals are expected to grow by 2.1 per cent in 2018 and more than double that next year. With exports climbing 10% the US chemical industry will post a $39 billion trade surplus this year.
This all points to substantial growth in outputs as demand strengthens in key markets allied with new production capacity comes online. In fact Martha Moore, senior director of policy analysis and economics at ACC and co-author of the report said that growth rates in US chemistry over the next five years are expected to surpass average growth over the previous 20 years. The only real caveat is that access to export markets must remain open to producers.