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Chemical Week Magazine :: Viewpoint

Offsetting U.S. Weakness

1:52 PM MDT | August 9, 2007 | Robert Westervelt Robw@Chemweek.Com

One of the noteworthy elements of first-quarter results has been the ability of producers to maintain earnings strength despite poor U.S. markets. The primary cause of U.S. weakness is sluggish housing and automotive markets, which have hurt demand across key sectors such as coatings and plastics. Dow Chemical, for instance, reported a 7% first-quarter volume decline in the U.S., compared to the same year-ago quarter. DuPont reported a 1% decline in U.S. volumes. PPG Industries says that volumes in the U.S. and Canada grew only 1%. U.S. chemical production...

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