Issue Date: April 10, 2006
Chemical shipments slip
U.S. chemical shipments declined 0.7% in February from the previous month but were still well ahead of levels seen in February a year earlier, rising 6.2%, according to seasonally adjusted data from the Commerce Department. The same pattern was seen for chemicals, excluding pharmaceuticals: The value of shipments fell 1.0% from January but were up 8.3% from the comparable month in 2005. Lower inventory levels, however, prevented any month-to-month rise in the inventories-to-shipments ratio for total chemicals and for chemicals minus drugs. The ratio for all chemicals was 1.18, and when pharmaceuticals are taken out, it was 1.04. Both ratios were unchanged from the previous month.
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