The fall in pharma-focused US chemical manufacturing was announced by the American Chemistry Council (ACC) this week.
The industry group said combined with lower fertilizer, acid, phosphate, sulphate and synthetic fibre output, the pharma decline had offset gains in consumer products, coatings, resins, rubber and organics.
The ACC attributed the fall in pharmaceutical chemical production to lower output from suppliers on the West Coast, Northeast and Mid-Atlantic regions of the US although it did not name any of the companies involved.
The organisation did not speculate on drivers for the decline in pharma chemical output when contacted by in-Pharmatechnologist.com.
Analysts at Zacks suggested that, across the entire chemical industry, the strength of the US dollar was putting pressure on “US manufacturers as it is making American-made products costlier in other nations.”
Permanent R&D tax credit
This idea would fit with comments made by the Society of Chemical Manufacturers and Affiliates (SOCMA) earlier this month, which said Government measures were important to helping US chemical producers compete on with supplier elsewhere.
SOCMA voiced support for permanent R&D tax credits after the US House of Representatives passed the American Research and Competitiveness Act last Wednesday, arguing that “By nature, specialty chemical manufacturing is innovative.
“Many SOCMA members rely on the R&D tax credit to help them remain competitive in the global marketplace” according to spokesman William Allmond, who said at some of the chemical firms the organisation represents 20% of staff work in research and development.
“We commend the House leadership for moving forward on this legislation that will remove the uncertainty and keep our SOCMA members at the forefront of innovation, which is the lifeblood of specialty chemical manufacturing” he added, urging the Senate to follow suit.