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September 9, 2013

Shale gas investments top $84 billion in U.S., ACC says

Scott Jenkins

As of the end of August, the global chemical industry had invested a total of $84.4 billion in 126 projects connected to the increased availability of shale gas in the U.S., according to a database of industry project announcements maintained by the American Chemistry Council (ACC; Washington, D.C.; www.americanchemistry.com). ACC plans monthly updates to its database.
 
Of the total, 54% is foreign direct investment, ACC said in its latest Weekly Chemistry and Economic Report. Nearly all of the projects are scheduled to come onstream by 2018, the report adds.
 
In other economic data, ACC reported that the U.S. specialty chemicals market volume rose 0.6% in July, after small declines in both May and June. Of the 28 specialty market segments that ACC monitors, 18 expanded in July, with the rest flat or declining.
 
In chemical equities, the S&P index for chemical companies slipped during August by 0.7%, while the wider S&P 500 index fell by 3.1% over the same month.
 
Meanwhile, the JPMorgan Global Manufacturing Purchasing Manager’s Index (PMI) rose 0.9 points to 51.7 in August, its highest level since June 2011. “Manufacturing production rose for the tenth successive month, with the rate of growth accelerating to the highest since January,” the ACC report said.
 
 
 

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