August 20, 2020
The American Chemistry Council (ACC) reported that with continued recovery in the U.S. economy, US specialty chemicals market volumes rebounded by 1.9% in July, off from a strong revised 4.6% gain in June, a revised 0.1% decline in May, and a record 12.4% decline in April. Of the 28 specialty chemical segments that ACC monitors, 25 expanded in July, an improvement from the expansion in 24 segments in June and the decline across all segments in April. On a sequential basis, diffusion was 91% in July, an improvement from 89% in June and 0% in April. Of the 25 segments that showed growth in July, 17 featured gains of 1.0% or more.
During July, overall specialty chemicals volumes were down by 9.1% on a year-over-year (Y/Y) basis, an improvement from the 11.7% decline the previous month. Volumes stood at 101.0% of their average 2012 levels in July. This is equivalent to 6.88 billion pounds (3.12 million mt). On a Y/Y basis, gains were seen in only three specialty chemical segments: cosmetic additives, electronic chemicals, and flavors and fragrances. On a Y/Y basis, diffusion was 11% in July, still much worse than at the start of the year.
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.
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