The Specialty Chemicals Market Volume Index, a tool created by the American Chemistry Council (ACC), fell in January, dropping .5% on a three-month moving average (3MMA) basis after a .1% decline in December. Weakness in 2015 was centered in oilfield chemicals and a few other segments that, combined, weighed on overall volumes. Of 28 specialty chemical segments monitored, only 10 expanded in January, with none experiencing large gains (1% and over) in market volumes, according to ACC.
The overall specialty chemicals volume index was off 2.7% year-over-year (Y/Y) also on a 3MMA basis. Year-earlier comparisons were generally in the 4% to 6.8% range during 2012-2014, but since February they have fallen below that range as the downturn in the oil and gas sectors affected headline volumes. The strong U.S. dollar has adversely affected a number of export-oriented customer industries, according to ACC. On a Y/Y basis, gains are still fairly widespread among most market and functional specialty chemical segments. With few exceptions, however, year-earlier comparisons have been moderating.
For more information, visit: www.americanchemistry.com