I get information from mulitple sources on the current status of film and chemical sales. Here is the latest, unconfirmed material from reputable sources. I cannot confirm them nor give you more accurate information.
1. B&W film sales continue to decrease WW.
2. Color film sales hold steady for the time being, mainly bolstered by Motion Picture film sales.
3. Chemical sales are taking a hit due to changes in policy by the major manufacturers and their distributors and by increasing HAZMAT charges. This is hurting the use of analog photography everywhere. This last one has been a killer for me. I can't get Kodak fixer locally anymore very easily. They have to place a rather large order to minimize shipping from the new distribution center and to minimize the HAZMAT charge. KRLF contains sulfuric acid.
4. The government is considering adding new chemicals to the HAZMAT list or the DEA list due to growing concerns over terrorism and the distribution of toxic chemistry. Limits are now placed on sodium and potassium hydroxide solutions, nitric acid, and phenol due to their use in making explosives and drugs. It is illegal to buy flasks and beakers in some states now. The list continues, but the noose tightens thereby.
This all saddens me deeply.
I went to my local camera store and tried to buy 4x5 TMAX. It was out of stock. They told me that film sales in 2006 were only 20% of the 2005 sales. So I have to wait for Kodak to actually fill orders. They are the major source of materials for the local technical school (Journalism) and the art school. Both have largely dropped film form the curriculum.