Of the twenty-eight specialty chemical segments we monitor, 18 expanded in February, 10 experienced decline and none were flat. During February, large gains (1.0 percent and over) occurred in antioxidants, food additives, mining chemicals, oilfield chemicals, paint additives and rubber processing chemicals
The overall specialty chemicals volume index was up 1.3 percent on a year-over-year (Y/Y) 3MMA basis. The index stood at 107.2% of its average 2012 levels. This is equivalent to 7.39 billion pounds (3.35 million metric tons). The down-turn in the oil and gas sector had affected headline volumes and weakness spread to other segments. Year-earlier comparisons were negative from second quarter 2015 through second quarter 2016 but are now improving as the recovery in the oil and gas sector has engaged and is now aiding head-line volumes. On a Y/Y basis, there were gains among 15 market and functional specialty chemical segments.