The American Chemistry Council (ACC) reports that with the recovery in the US economy slowing, US specialty chemicals market volumes were stable in September, off from a revised (and stronger) 0.9% gain in August and a 2.8% gain in July.
Of the 28 specialty chemical segments that ACC monitors, 13 expanded in September, down from 27 segments in August. On a sequential basis, diffusion was 46%, a setback from 96% in August. Of the 13 segments showing growth in September, eight featured gains of 1% or more.
During September, specialty chemicals volumes were off 8.1% on a year-over-year (Y/Y) basis, a slight improvement from August. Volumes stood at 102.9% of their average 2012 levels in September. This is equivalent to 7.01 billion pounds. On a Y/Y basis, only three chemical segments showed gains. On a year-earlier basis, diffusion was 11% in September.
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. Specialties may only have one or two uses, whereas commodities may have multiple or different applications for each chemical. Commodity chemicals comprise 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.
This data set is the only timely source of market trends for 28 market and functional specialty chemical segments. Chemistry directly touches over 96% of all manufactured goods, and trends in these specialty chemical segments provide a detailed view of trends in manufacturing. The data also shed light on how various consumer end-use markets are performing compared to others in the marketplace.
For a detailed breakdown, visit www.americanchemistry.com/newsroom