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Distribution: Riding Out the Storm

3:20 PM MDT | May 29, 2009 | NANCY SEEWALD, VINCENT VALK, and ESTHER D’AMICO

The chemical distribution sector can no longer call itself “recession resistant” as it did in fourth-quarter 2008 when the economic turmoil began to affect most of the sector’s suppliers and customers, analysts say. There were then still several end-markets in which business remained robust enough to help offset losses in other markets. However, continuing declines this year in chemical volumes, demand, and prices have dragged down sales and profits at most distribution firms, leaving them little option but to try to ride out the storm. The...

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