ACC Reports Solid Start To Year For Specialty Chemicals

Feb. 26, 2020
U.S. specialty chemicals markets start 2020 on a solid note.

The American Chemistry Council (ACC) reports a solid start to the year for U.S. specialty chemicals market volumes, with a 0.5% headline gain in January following a 0.7% gain in December. Of the 28 specialty chemical segments ACC monitors, 18 expanded in January – up from 15 in December – nine markets declined and one was flat. Large market volume gains (1.0% and over) occurred in antioxidants, catalysts, cosmetic chemicals, electronic chemicals, mining chemicals, plastic compounding, printing ink and rubber processing chemicals. On a sequential basis, diffusion was 66%, up from 55% in December.

During January, the overall specialty chemicals volume index was up 0.3% on a year-over-year (Y/Y), three-month moving average (3MMA) basis. Year-earlier comparisons have eased since the third quarter of 2018 and were negative through December. The index stood at 113.8% of its average 2012 levels in January, which is equivalent to 7.75 billion pounds (3.52 million metric tons). On a Y/Y basis, there were gains in 11 market and functional specialty chemical segments. Compared with last year, volumes were down in 16 segments and one was flat. On a year-earlier basis, diffusion was 41%, an improving comparison.

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