The American Chemistry Council (ACC) reported that with the recovery in the U.S. economy slowing, U.S. specialty chemicals market volumes were stable in September, off from a revised (and stronger) 0.9% gain in August and a 2.8% gain in July. Of the 28 specialty chemical segments that ACC monitors, 13 expanded in September, down from 27 segments in August. On a sequential basis, diffusion was 46%, a setback from 96% in August. Of the 13 segments showing growth in September, eight featured gains of 1.0% or more.
During September, specialty chemicals volumes were off 8.1% on a year-over-year (Y/Y) basis, a slight improvement from August. Volumes stood at 102.9% of their average 2012 levels in September. This is equivalent to 7.01 billion pounds (3.18 million metric tons). On a Y/Y basis, only three chemical segments showed gains. On a year-earlier basis, diffusion was 11% in September.