October 2017

U.S. Specialty Chemicals Market slows due to Hurricane Harvey

The Specialty Chemicals Market Volume Index showed a pronounced slowdown in August, reflecting the effects of Hurricane Harvey, according to the American Chemistry Council (ACC). Growth in U.S. specialty chemicals market volumes expanded only 0.1% in August, following an upwardly revised 0.5 % gain in July. All changes in the data are reported on a three-month moving average (3MMA) basis. Of the twenty-eight specialty chemical segments ACC monitors, fifteen expanded in August, nine markets experienced decline while four were stable. During August, large market volume gains (1.0% and over) occurred only in oilfield chemicals.

Note that on an unadjusted basis, the August data showed a 0.8 % decline and is illustrative of the effects that Hurricane Harvey had on markets. Only eleven segments expanded on this basis. 

The overall specialty chemicals volume index was up 5.1% on a year-over-year (Y/Y) 3MMA basis. The index stood at 109.4% of its average 2012 levels. This is equivalent to 7.54 billion pounds (3.42 million metric tons). On a Y/Y basis, there were gains among 20 market and functional specialty chemical segments. Compared to last year, volumes were down in seven segments.