In the Chlorovinyls segment, third quarter 2012 net sales were $329.1 million compared to $347.2 million during the third quarter of 2011. The decline in net sales was driven by lower vinyl resin sales prices, partially offset by higher vinyl resin sales volumes and higher caustic prices. The segment posted operating income of $73.8 million in the third quarter of 2012, compared to operating income of $46.3 million for the same quarter in the prior year. The $27.5 million increase in operating income was primarily due to lower feedstock costs, higher vinyl resin sales volumes and higher caustic sales prices, partially offset by lower vinyl resin sales prices.
In the Building Products segment, net sales were $246.2 million for the third quarter of 2012, compared to $262.5 million recorded for the same quarter in the prior year. Net sales for the third quarter of 2011 include $4.6 million of sales from the fence product line that was discontinued in March 2012. The net sales decrease was driven by lower sales volume in the U.S. and the discontinued fence product line, partially offset by increased Canadian sales volume. On a constant currency basis and excluding the sales from the discontinued fence product line, net sales decreased 4 percent. The segment's operating income was $14.7 million for the third quarter of 2012, compared to $14.3 million of operating income during the same quarter of the prior year. The increase in operating income was due to lower raw materials costs, partially offset by higher selling, general and administrative costs.Aromatics In the Aromatics segment, net sales decreased to $238.2 million for the third quarter of 2012 from $319.9 million during the third quarter of 2011, due primarily to lower export sales volumes for phenol and acetone and lower sales prices for cumene, phenol and acetone, partially offset by higher cumene sales volumes. During the third quarter of 2012, the segment recorded operating income of $11.1 million, compared to operating income of $1.7 million during the same quarter in 2011. The increase in operating income was primarily due to a small inventory holding gain in the third quarter of 2012 compared to a large inventory holding loss in the third quarter of 2011, partially offset by lower sales volumes.
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