According to the Chemical Industry and Outlook Report of the American Chemistry Council (ACC), revenues from sales of chemicals in the USA will exceed $1 trillion by 2018. They predict a 2.5 % increase in chemical production for 2014 and a 3.5 % for 2015, with strong growth expected for plastic resins and organic chemicals. Significant shale-driven chemical capacity will start to come online in 2015 to generate faster growth, especially along the Gulf Coast.
2012 saw a gain of 0.1 % and 2013 of 1.6 % in chemical production. In 2013, employment in the chemical industry increased by 1.3 %. The report expects continued addition of jobs in the industry through 2018.
Also, the ratios of inventories to shipments for chemical manufacturers were generally well balanced in 2013.
Due to the recession in Europe and slowdowns in China and other East Asian nations, worldwide production likely advanced only by 2.4 % in 2013. The global chemical production growth is predicted to improve to 3.8 % in 2014 and 4.1 % in 2015.
The ACC belives the USA will become an area for increasing investment due to opportunities for low-cost feedstock and energy afforded by the availability of shale gas, along with high profit margins and low capital cost. In early December 2013, over 135 new chemical production projects, valued at $ 90 billion, have been announced, according to ACC estimates.
The chemical industry of the USA is predicted to have increased R&D spending by 0.5 % in 2013. By 2018, R&D spending will reach $68.7 billion compared to $56.6 billion in 2012, the report says.
The trade surplus in chemicals is expected to grow for 2013 and trade in chemicals will expand for 2014 and 2015.
- American Chemistry Council (ACC), Washington, D.C., USA