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U .S. chemical shipments increased in July both from June and from the comparable month last year, according to seasonally adjusted data from the Commerce Department. The value of all chemical shipments rose 3.0% from the previous month and 8.2% from July 2005. Excluding pharmaceuticals, shipments increased 2.4% month-to-month and 4.3% from a year earlier. Meanwhile, inventories for all chemicals were unchanged from June. Excluding drugs, inventories were up 0.5% month-to-month. Thus, the inventories-to-shipments ratio for all chemicals fell to 1.14 in July from 1.17 in June. Taking out drugs, the ratio for the remainder of the chemical industry declined to 1.01 from 1.03 in June.
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