U.S. Specialty Chemicals Market Ends Second Quarter on Soft Note

Jul 23, 2015, 09:10 ET from American Chemistry Council

WASHINGTON, July 23, 2015 /PRNewswire/ -- The Specialty Chemicals Market Volume Index, a new tool created by the American Chemistry Council (ACC), ended the 2nd quarter on a soft note, falling 0.3 percent on a three-month moving average basis (3MMA) in June from the previous month. This follows steady declines since December as weakness in oilfield chemicals and a few other segments weighed on overall volumes. Of the twenty-eight specialty chemical segments included in the index, thirteen expanded in June, fourteen declined and one was flat.

The overall specialty chemicals volume index was up only 0.1 percent year-over-year (Y/Y) also on a 3MMA basis. Year-earlier comparisons were generally in the 4.0 percent to 6.8 percent range during 2012-2014 but since February of this year they have been below that range as the downturn in the oil and gas sectors affected headline volumes. Still, on a Y/Y basis, gains are fairly widespread among most market and functional specialty chemical segments and, in some cases, they are improving. Compared to last year, June volumes were up in twenty-one segments and down in seven segments. That said the year-earlier comparisons have been moderating.

Specialty chemicals are materials manufactured on the basis of the unique performance or function and provide a wide variety of effects on which many other sectors and end-use products rely. They can be individual molecules or mixtures of molecules, known as formulations. The physical and chemical characteristics of the single molecule or mixtures along with the composition of the mixtures influence the performance end product. Individual market sectors that rely on such products include automobile, aerospace, agriculture, cosmetics and food, among others.

Specialty chemicals differ from commodity chemicals. They may only have one or two uses, while commodities may have multiple or different applications for each chemical. Commodity chemicals make up most of the production volume in the global marketplace, while specialty chemicals make up most of the diversity in commerce at any given time, and are relatively high value with greater market growth rates. Some areas where specialty chemicals are used include adhesives, cleaning materials, cosmetic additives, construction materials, food additives, fragrances and detergents

This data is the only timely source of market trends for twenty-eight market and functional specialty chemical segments. Chemistry directly touches over ninety-six percent of all manufactured goods, and trends in these specialty chemical segments provide a detailed view of trends in manufacturing. The data also sheds light on how various consumer end-use markets are performing compared to others in the marketplace.

U.S. Specialty Chemical Market Volume, Percentage Change
(Seasonally adjusted, 3-month moving average)


Current

Prior

Year/

Year-to-


Month

Month

Year

Date


June 15/

May 15/

June 15/

YTD 15/


May 15

Apr 15

June 14

YTD 14

U.S. Total

-0.3

-0.4

0.1

1.4

Antioxidants

0.1

0.8

6.6

7.6

Biocides

-0.1

0.0

4.3

4.9

Catalysts

-0.1

0.5

3.0

3.1

Coatings

0.2

0.1

2.9

3.3

Construction Chemicals

0.5

0.2

1.5

1.3

Corrosion Inhibitors

-0.3

-0.6

-0.5

1.8

Cosmetic Chemicals

-0.7

-1.0

9.0

12.1

Dyes

0.2

0.3

4.1

4.9

Electronic Chemicals

0.4

0.7

4.6

5.7

Flame Retardants

0.1

-0.2

5.0

6.7

Flavors & Fragrances

-0.6

-0.4

4.2

5.8

Food Additives

-0.3

0.1

2.3

2.7

Foundry Chemicals

0.4

-0.1

2.0

4.9

I&I Cleaners

-0.1

0.3

2.2

2.5

Lubricant Additives

1.6

-0.2

2.5

1.5

Mining Chemicals

-2.3

-1.5

-8.0

-3.9

Oilfield Chemicals

-2.0

-3.3

-14.5

-8.0

Paint Additives

-0.1

0.4

4.3

-1.1

Paper Additives

0.2

0.6

-0.4

-0.2

Pigments

-0.4

-0.3

-1.3

-1.9

Plastic Additives

-0.5

-0.5

-1.2

-1.2

Plasticizers

-0.7

-0.6

-2.0

-2.3

Plastic Compounding

0.4

0.3

3.1

3.7

Printing Ink

0.0

0.4

5.1

4.9

Rubber Processing

0.0

1.8

7.1

7.4

Textile Specialties

-0.7

-0.5

5.5

7.0

Water Management Chemicals

0.1

0.3

3.9

4.4







 

SOURCE American Chemistry Council



RELATED LINKS

http://www.americanchemistry.com