Hurricane Harvey Triggers Market Slowdown

By Chemical Processing Staff

Sep 27, 2017

The Specialty Chemicals Market Volume Index showed a pronounced slowdown in August, reflecting the effects of Hurricane Harvey, according to the American Chemistry Council (ACC). Growth in U.S. specialty chemicals market volumes expanded only 0.1% in August, following an upwardly revised 0.5% gain in July. All changes in the data are reported on a three-month moving average (3MMA) basis. Of the 28 specialty chemical segments we monitor, 15 expanded in August, nine markets experienced decline while four were stable. During August, large market volume gains (1.0% and over) occurred only in oilfield chemicals, according to ACC.

On an unadjusted basis, the August data showed a 0.8% decline and is reportedly illustrative of the effects that Hurricane Harvey had on markets. Only 11 segments expanded on this basis. 

The overall specialty chemicals volume index was up 5.1% on a year-over-year (Y/Y) 3MMA basis. The index stood at 109% of its average 2012 levels. This is equivalent to 7.54 billion pounds (3.42 million metric tons). On a Y/Y basis, there were gains among 20 market and functional specialty chemical segments. Compared to last year, volumes were down in seven segments.

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