Chemical outlook positive for U.S., Canada, Asia-Pacific; modest for Europe

January 13, 2004

Chemical sales and production in the U.S., Canada and the Asia-Pacific region should continue to grow in 2004, according to a special report in this week's issue of Chemical & Engineering News. Europe, however, still seems to be lagging behind with only modest increases anticipated, while Latin America should expect a turnaround, says the weekly newsmagazine, which is published by the American Chemical Society, the world's largest scientific society

Production and demand, along with capital spending will increase, according to the report, an annual worldwide forecast for the chemical industry. Closed plants will be brought back on-line and funds will be spent bringing production units up to date and making them more efficient, C&EN predicts. Though the high cost of natural gas still affects U.S. earnings negatively, Canada and the Asia-Pacific regions both hope for historic levels of industry growth, according to the magazine.

European chemical industries probably won't pull out of the economic holding pattern they experienced in 2003 immediately, but companies are focusing on controlling costs and improving effectiveness, C&EN says. Latin American companies, however, are more hopeful for a recovery. Recovery in every major Latin American economy suggests an upturn, but political uncertainties still may hinder a major surge forward, the magazine suggests.

For the full story on each region, please see:

American Chemical Society

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