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October 8, 2012

U.S. specialty chemical market volume fell 1.1% in August, ACC says

Scott Jenkins

The U.S. specialty chemicals market volume fell 1.1% in August, more than offsetting the 0.4% gain from July, according to the latest Weekly Chemistry and Economic Report from the American Chemistry Council (ACC;
The data are a continuation of a period of soft activity in the specialty chemicals market that occurred from March through May of this year, the ACC report said.
During August, the only gain of greater than 1.0% was in mining chemicals, with more nominal gains in additives for cosmetics and food, as well as plastic additives and foundry chemicals. Other specialty segments declined in August, the report says.
Overall, the specialty chemicals volume index was up 3.4% year-over-year in August, on a three-month moving average basis, and stood at 98.7% of its average 2007 levels, the report said.
The ACC report assessed the week’s economic reports as mixed, with factory orders declining sharply due to a fall in aircraft, defense and motor vehicle orders. There was a gain in the ISM manufacturing index, but global manufacturing continued to slip.
Shipments of chemicals rose, excluding pharmaceuticals, and inventories slipped, the report said.

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