The American Chemistry Council (ACC) reports that U.S. specialty chemicals market volumes gained 0.1% in January, following a 0.8% gain in December. All changes in the data are reported on a three-month moving average (3MMA) basis. Weather reportedly may have played a role in the slow start to the year. Of the 28 specialty chemical segments the ACC monitors, 20 expanded in January and eight experienced decline. During January, large market volume gains (1.0% and over) occurred in catalysts, corrosion inhibitors electronic chemicals, lubricant additives, oilfield chemicals, plastic compounding, rubber processing chemicals and water management chemicals.
The overall specialty chemicals volume index was up 5.3% on a year-over-year (Y/Y) 3MMA basis. The index stood at 111.0% of its average 2012 levels. This is equivalent to 7.65 billion pounds (3.47 million metric tons). On a Y/Y basis, there were gains among 24 market and functional specialty chemical segments. Compared to last year, volumes were down in only four segments.
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