Chemicals & Specialty Materials Q4 2022 Price & Volume Trends by Sub-sector

Read more about the chemicals & specialty activity during Q4 2022

Given talk of a looming recession, we looked at price and volume trends in the Chemicals & Specialty Materials industry to see how the sector is holding up.

  • The analysis is focused on public North American  companies that disclose price and volume data
  • Overall, the industry enjoyed a strong fourth quarter  with sales, on average, up 8.0% over the prior year's  fourth quarter
  • However, looking at the underlying data, it is apparent  that the strong top line growth was largely driven by  pricing actions (up 15.7% on average)
  • Volumes, on the other hand, paint a more troubling  picture with more declines than increases. There are  likely several reasons for the weak volume numbers  including:
    • Inflation and the attendant inverse correlation  between price and demand
    • A broader pullback across the economy
    • Anecdotal evidence from conversations with  industry participants who've told us their customers  over ordered earlier in the year to get ahead of  potential supply disruptions only to find themselves  sitting on excess inventory
  • Even within the industry, there are some sub-sectors  worse off than others - it does appear that the more  upstream/commodity companies suffered worse than  others (e.g. TiO2)
  • As for the Minerals & Inorganics companies -  Albermarle's Lithium business accounted for a  significant portion of the segment’s volume growth

Year-over-year organic growth within the chemicals industry

High Yield - Average New Issue Yields

Source: LCD Interactive High Yield Report, Monthly & Quarterly Volume tab

We hope you find this information valuable, and as always, feel free to reach out if you would like to discuss in further detail. To read the full report, download the PDF below.


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Vijay Balasubramanian

Vijay Balasubramanian

Managing Director, KPMG Corporate Finance LLC

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Paul Harnick

Paul Harnick

Principal, Advisory, KPMG US

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Gillian Morris

Gillian Morris

Principal, Strategy, KPMG LLP

+1 612-305-5070