The American Chemistry Council (ACC) reports that U.S. specialty chemicals market volumes eased 0.1% in February after a 0.2% gain in January and a 0.4% gain in December. All changes in the data are reported on a three-month moving average (3MMA) basis. Performance chemistry reflects trends in manufacturing. Of the 28 specialty chemical segments ACC monitors, only 11 expanded in February, off from 14 in January and 17 in December. Thirteen markets experienced decline in February and four were flat. During February, large market volume gains (1.0% and over) occurred only in mining chemicals.
During February, the overall specialty chemicals volume index was up 4.4% on a year-over-year (Y/Y) 3MMA basis. The index stood at 114.6% of its average 2012 levels in January. This is equivalent to 7.81 billion pounds (3.54 million metric tons). On a Y/Y basis, there were gains in 19 market and functional specialty chemical segments. Compared with last year, volumes were down in nine segments.
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