The American Chemistry Council (ACC) reported that with continued recovery in the US economy, specialty chemicals market volumes increased by 3.6% in June, an improvement from the revised 1.2% gain in May and the record 12.6% decline in April. Of the 28 specialty chemical segments that ACC monitors, 25 expanded in June, an improvement from the expansion in 22 segments in May and the decline across all segments in April. On a sequential basis, diffusion was 89%, an improvement from 79% in May and 0% in April. In June, 23 segments featured gains of more than 1.0%.
During June, overall specialty chemicals volumes were off 11.7% on a year-over-year (Y/Y) basis. Volumes stood at 99.0% of their average 2012 levels in June. This is equivalent to 6.74 billion pounds (3.06 million mt).
On a Y/Y basis, gains occurred in only cosmetic additives, electronic chemicals, and flavors and fragrances. On a Y/Y basis, diffusion was 12 percent, an improvement from May and April but sharply lower 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.