Midland, Michigan -- Dow Chemical Co.'s Performance Materials business, which includes its polyurethanes raw materials, had sales in the first quarter of 2012 of $3.5 billion, down 2 percent compared with the same quarter last year. Dow noted, however, that adjusted sales were flat, as volume increases offset price declines.
Volumes rose in Dow's Performance Materials in all geographic areas -- excluding Latin America, the company noted, adding that in that region Dow saw a decline due to the shutdown of its TDI (toluene diisocyanate) capacity in Brazil.
Dow's polyurethanes sales were up modestly, primarily as a result of improvements in US demand, the company commented.
Dow Formulated Systems, which includes its PU and epoxy systems business, reported double-digit sales growth, with volume gains in all geographic areas except Asia Pacific. The latter region "continued to experience weak demand in the wind-energy sector," said Dow.
Dow's total sales were $14.7 billion, in line with the same quarter last year. Adjusted sales rose 4 percent versus the year-ago period. Volumes declined 1 percent, but were up 3 percent on an adjusted basis, led by a double-digit increase in Dow's Agricultural Sciences business, which was up 12 percent.
According to Dow, its US volumes grew 2 percent on an adjusted basis, reflecting, it said, "improving economic conditions across several sectors and value chains."