Of the 28 specialty chemical segments ACC monitors, 15 expanded in January, 10 experienced decline and three were flat. During January, large gains (1.0% and over) were noted only in oilfield chemicals.
The overall specialty chemicals volume index was up 0.4% on a year-over-year (Y/Y) 3MMA basis. The index stood at 105.9% of its average 2012 levels. This is equivalent to 7.30 billion pounds (3.31 million metric tons). The downturn in the oil and gas sector affected headline volumes and weakness spread to other segments. Year-earlier comparisons were negative from Q2 2015 through Q2 2016 but are now improving. On a Y/Y basis, there were gains among 16 market and functional specialty chemical segments.