All changes in the data are reported on a three-month moving average (3MMA) basis. Of the 28 specialty chemical segments monitored, 21 expanded in November and seven experienced decline. During November, large gains (1.0 percent and over) were noted in cosmetic chemicals, mining chemicals, oilfield chemicals and specialties.
The overall specialty chemicals volume index was off 0.7 percent year-over-year (Y/Y) on a 3MMA basis. The index stood at 105.2 percent of its average 2012 levels. This is equivalent to 7.25 billion pounds (3.29 million metric tons). The downturn in the oil and gas sector affected headline volumes and weakness spread to other segments as well. Year-earlier comparisons have been negative since second quarter 2015. Lately, the year-earlier declines have been moderating. On a Y/Y basis, there were gains among 16 market and functional specialty chemical segments.