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Canadian Industrial Chemicals and Plastics Shipments on Track For Record Year
November 29, 2021

Canada's shipments of industrial chemicals and plastics may be on track for one of the strongest years on record, according to the Chemistry Industry Association of Canada (CIAC).

Data released by Statistics Canada's monthly survey of labor and manufacturing for the first nine months of 2021 show industrial chemical shipments were up 30% from 2020 levels, reaching $20.4 billion, while total manufacturing output increased by 18% from last year.

"With strong demand trends across all industrial chemical sub-sectors, shipment performance looks set to continue through the rest of the year," added CIAC.

Shipments of basic chemicals are up 29.9% from 2020 levels, while resin and synthetic rubber shipments, which increased by 44%, is on track to for its best year on record

Meanwhile, Canada's plastic product manufacturing has also seen strong demand in 2021, as plastic product sub-sectors in the packaging and building material sectors have shown the strongest performance. Plastic product shipments are up 18.7% from 2020 levels, but there is some weakness for plastic auto parts, which comprise 17% of total plastic product shipments, and have seen sales drop by 5% from last year.

Despite supply disruptions from the automotive industry and weakness for plastic auto parts, overall Canadian plastics resin demand has seen record strength in 2021, driven primarily by operational issues and resin force majeures in the US Gulf following Winter Storm Uri in February and Hurricane Ida in September. Canadian resin producers unaffected by those weather events were able to run reactors at optimal levels throughout most of the year to make up for as much of the supply shortfall as possible.

By Brian Balboa for The Plastics Exchange.

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