US Chemical Industry

The Hidden Champion of US Re-Industrialisation: Chemicals Outperform Industrial Output

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In the specialties chemical segment, production will pick up and grow to 3.0 percent in 2017. Performance in these sectors has continued to be dampened by oilfield and mining chemicals, but demand is expected to grow as the oil and gas sector recovers.

Megaplants About to Go On-Stream

Most notably, according to Swift, momentum for the entire industry will continue as new capacity comes online in the next several years. As of December 2016, more than 275 new chemical production projects had been announced since 2010 with a total value of more than $170 billion, with a full 49 percent already complete or under construction.

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“The United States remains the place for chemical companies to invest,” said Swift. Capital spending in the industry surged 21.0 percent in 2015, reaching nearly $44 billion, and accounting for more than one-half of total construction spending by the manufacturing sector. By 2021, capital spending is expected to reach $70 billion, contributing to four consecutive years of job growth in the industry.

A 797-Billion Business

The business of chemistry is a $797 billion enterprise and one of America’s most significant manufacturing industries, accounting for more than 14 percent of all U.S. exports and 15 percent of the world’s chemicals. More than ninety-six percent of all manufactured goods are touched by products of chemistry.

Prepared annually by ACC’s Economics and Statistics Department, the “Year-End 2016 Chemical Industry Situation and Outlook” is the association’s annual review of the U.S. and global business of chemistry. It offers global and domestic chemical industry data related to production, trade, shipments, capacity utilization, R&D spending, capital spending, employment and wages.

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