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June 10, 2013

U.S. specialty chemical market volume rose 0.2% in April, ACC says

Scott Jenkins

The market volume for specialty chemicals in the U.S. edged upward in April, according to the American Chemistry Council (ACC; Washington, D.C.; The 0.2% gain in April matched the March, but was below the gains of January, February and the fourth quarter of 2012. Specialty chemical market volumes have increased for eight consecutive months, ACC pointed out in its latest Weekly Chemistry and Economic Report.
Of the 28 specific market segments analyzed by ACC, 13 expanded in April, down from the 16 segments that experienced growth in March. The remaining market segments either were flat or declined.  
The larger gains (1.0% or above) were observed in adhesives and sealants and in cosmetic additives, with above average gains experienced in antioxidants, electronic chemicals, flame retardants, flavors and fragrances, food additives, industrial and institutional cleaners and plastic compounding, ACC explained.
Smaller gains occurred in construction chemicals, oilfield chemicals and plastic additives.
Other details within the report include the S&P index for chemical companies, which rose 1.7% in May, compared to 2.1% for the wider S&P 500 index. Since the beginning of the year, the S&P chemicals index is 11.4%, while the S&P 500 index was up 14.3%.
Also, the ACC report included data from the Institute for Supply Management (ISM), which indicated that the chemical industry was one of the six manufacturing industries reporting contraction in May.

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