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U.S. specialty chemical markets ease to close out third quarter

November 05/2019

MOSCOW (MRC) Ц The American Chemistry Council (ACC) reported that U.S. specialty chemicals market volumes ended the third quarter on soft note, falling 0.1 percent in September after rising 0.2 percent in August, said Americanchemistry.

Of the 28 specialty chemical segments that ACC monitors, 11 expanded in September, off from 18 in August. Fourteen markets declined in September and three were flat. In September, large market volume gains (1.0 percent and over) occurred only in foundry chemicals. On a sequential basis, diffusion was 45 percent, off from 70 percent in August, but up from 38 percent in July. All changes in the data are reported on a three-month moving average (3MMA) basis.

Performance chemistry reflects trends in manufacturing. In the first quarter, specialty chemical market volumes fell and the second quarter was flat. For the third quarter as a whole, volumes fell and were off from fourth quarter 2018 levels.

During September, the overall specialty chemicals volume index was up only 0.3 percent on a year-over-year (Y/Y) 3MMA basis. Year-earlier comparisons have eased after the third quarter of 2018. In September, the index stood at 114.1 percent of its average 2012 levels. This is equivalent to 7.78 billion pounds (3.52 million metric tons). On a Y/Y basis, there were gains in 12 market and functional specialty chemical segments. Compared with last year, volumes were down in 16 segments. On a year-earlier basis, diffusion was 43 percent.

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. Market sectors that rely on such products include automobiles, aerospace, agriculture, cosmetics and food, among others.

Specialty chemicals differ from commodity chemicals. They may only have one or two uses, while commodity chemicals 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.

This data set is the only timely source of market trends for 28 market and functional specialty chemical segments. Chemistry directly touches over 96 percent 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 with others in the marketplace.

As MRC informed earlier, the Chemical Activity Barometer (CAB), a leading economic indicator created by the American Chemistry Council (ACC), fell 0.4 percent in October on a three-month moving average (3MMA) basis following stable activity during the third quarter. On a year-over-year (Y/Y) basis, the barometer was off 0.5 percent (3MMA).

As MRC informed earlier, Russia's output of products from polymers rose in September by 5.2% year on year. However, this figure increased by 1.7% year on year in the first nine months of 2019. According to the Russian Federal State Statistics Service, September production of unreinforced and non-combined films was slightly over 107,300 tonnes, compared to 110,000 tonnes a month earlier. Output of films products grew in January-September 2019 by 9.1% year on year to 893,000 tonnes.
Author:Anna Larionova
Tags:chemical fertilizers, petroleum products, crude oil, benzene, propylene, ethylene, Russia, USA.
Category:General News
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