Chemistry industry performance snapshot, first quarter 2018
Shipments of industrial chemicals were down 4% in the 1st quarter of 2018 compared to the
first quarter of 2017. Within the industry, the performance was highly variable. Other organic
chemicals showed strong-growth, while the other three main sub-segments all showed
Exports for industrial chemicals were up 3% in the 1st quarter of 2018 compared to the same
quarter in 2017. Petrochemicals showed the strongest growth, while inorganic chemicals and
resins were also up. Other organic chemicals showed no change.
Industrial chemical GDP grew 2.8% in the 1st quarter compared to the last quarter of 2017.
The quarter-over-quarter change in rail car shipments was up 4%, a large turnaround from the
5% decline observed between the 3rd and 4th quarters of 2017.