Chemicals & Specialty Materials Update Q1 2023

Read more about the chemicals & specialty activity during Q1 2023

Chemicals & Specialty Materials Q1 2023 Earnings Summary

  • The 41 Chemicals & Specialty Materials companies that provide details on organic revenue growth showed a slight decline of (1.1%) in Q1 '23  vs. the year ago period
  • Similar to Q4 2022, pricing actions continued to support the top-line for a majority of the sub-sectors (up 6.1% on average). Exceptions were:
    • Agchems and Fertilizers - where Fertilizer producers generally saw significant price declines while Agchem companies were able to push  through price increases; and
    • Commodity & Diversified producers who experienced fairly broad price declines
  • Once again, volumes (down 7.2% on average) were a concern across most of the industry

High Yield - Average New Issue Yields

Source: LCD Interactive High Yield Report, Monthly & Quarterly Volume tab
YoY Δ Agchems/ Fertilizers Coatings & Adhesives Commodity & Diversified Chemicals Industrial Gases Minerals & Inorganics Specialty Chemicals Titanium Dioxide Overall









Organic Growth


  • The Chemicals & Specialty Materials industry continued to experience strong headwinds that pushed year-over-year organic sales growth in Q1  2023 to (1.1%) compared to 8.0% growth year-over-year in Q4 2022
  • Declining consumer demand, stubborn inflation, increasing risk of recession in key markets and continued economic uncertainty all played a role  in impacting organic sales across the industry
    • In addition, customers working their way through excess inventory/destocking remained an issue during the quarter
  • While price increases continued to support the majority of the industry, the rate of increase in prices slowed from the prior quarter. Volumes  however, continued to show a negative trend (with some exceptions)
  • On a positive note, some industry participants suggest that destocking has largely run its course, except for certain end-markets where it is  expected to continue for a few more months
  • While there are some positive signs, we believe the broad macro-economic challenges continue to cast uncertainty on the near-term  growth of the Chemicals & Specialty Materials industry


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

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