Chemical prices continue rise, CLI points to growth, ACC report says
Prices for chemicals rose overall 0.5% in March, following a 0.6% gain in February and a 0.9% gain in January, according to data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (Washington, D.C.; www.bls.gov) that were discussed in the most recent Weekly Chemistry and Economic Report from the American Chemistry Council (ACC; Washington, D.C.; www.americanchemistry.com).
Excluding pharmaceutical prices, which rose 0.2%, prices for other chemicals rose 0.7% in March, the report says. For basic chemicals, prices rose 0.9%, and the gain was broad-based, the ACC report says. Prices for plastic resins surged 2.3% and synthetic rubber prices rose 1.7%, while specialty chemical prices rose 0.3% in March, the report adds.
“Compared to last year, headline chemistry prices were up 1.6% [year-over-year] on a three-month moving average basis,” the report says. Broken down by sector, however, basic chemicals were down 0.3% compared to last year, synthetic rubber was down 9.1%, bulk petrochemicals and organics were off 0.9%, manmade fibers were down 0.7% and inorganic chemicals were off 0.4% year-over-year, the report says. Prices for plastic resins were up 2.6% compared to last year, and specialty chemical prices were up 0.9%.
Meanwhile, the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD; Paris, France; www.oecd.org) released its latest composite leading indicator (CLI) for March. The CLI “trend points to growth picking up in most major economies,” the ACC report pointed out.