It’s another sign that the U.S. oil market is continuing to slump. According to a recent report from the American Chemistry Council, the oilfield chemicals market has been steadily declining since December.
ACC uses a Specialty Chemicals Market Volume Index to monitor 28 speciality chemicals segments, including oilfield chemicals. From a year-over-year perspective, the volume of oilfield chemicals decreased by 18.1 percent in August. Mining chemical volumes also decreased by 4.8 Y/Y.
In just August, lubricant additives declined, while construction and foundry chemicals were flat.
Despite those losses, the overall outlook from the index was positive for the third quarter. In August, 19 segments expanded including plastic additives and electronic chemicals, which grew the most using a three month moving average.
“Year-earlier comparisons were generally in the 4.0 percent to 6.8 percent range during 2012-2014 but since February of this year they have been below that range as the downturn in the oil and gas sectors affected headline volumes. Still, on a Y/Y basis, gains are fairly widespread among most market and functional specialty chemical segments, and, in some cases, they are improving,” ACC reported.
News from the U.S. oil industry has been grim since the collapse of oil prices in 2014, with widespread layoffs affecting thousands of workers and rig counts dropping most weeks. Last week, OPEC reduced its predicted daily output for non-member states — including the U.S. — to somewhere between 80,000 to 100,000 barrels a day for the rest of this year.