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EU Chemicals Production Forecast Cefic Corrects its 2011 Forecast for EU Chemicals Output Upward

| Editor: Dominik Stephan

Cefic, the European Chemical Industry Council predicts the European chemicals industry even better than expected and will likely see a modest expansion in 2012. The Brussel-based organisation recently announvced a sharp upward revision of its 2011 forecast for the EU chemicals production.

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Cefic Präsident Giorgio Squinzi (links) während der Pressekonferenz zum Wirtschaftsausblick 2011 in Birmingham, Großbritannien, am 23. Juni 2011. Rechts im Bild: Hubert Mandery, Cefic Generaldirektor. (Bild: Cefig)
Cefic Präsident Giorgio Squinzi (links) während der Pressekonferenz zum Wirtschaftsausblick 2011 in Birmingham, Großbritannien, am 23. Juni 2011. Rechts im Bild: Hubert Mandery, Cefic Generaldirektor. (Bild: Cefig)

Birmingham/United Kingdom – With a higher-than-expected industry demand for basic and speciality chemicals, the European Chemical Industry Council (Cefic) has some good news for the sector: The council's European trade group revised upward its annual summary forecast of chemicals sector, now expecting a total growth of around 4.5 percent in 2011. This nearly doubles the initial prediction of 2.5 percent of November 2011. Cefic analysts also announced a projected expansion in 2012 for the sector of 2.5 percent.

Speaking at a press briefing in Birmingham, Cefic Director General Hubert Mandery said: “Strong growth since our last forecast was driven especially by a combination of robust manufacturing and continued strong durable goods exports. EU output by the end of this year will likely remain below all-time levels reached in 2007, but should reach the pre-crisis threshold toward mid-2012.”

Improved Chemicals Production Efficiency Leads to Good Market Values in 2011

Iniatial worries about a pause in economic recovery did, luckily, not prove true. A short downturn during the third quarter of 2010 caused Cefics initial forecast to be significantly more cautious. Good market data for the last quarter of 2010 and early 2011 showing a sharp increase in industry output dispelled these fears.

Cefic President Giorgio Squinzi, who joined Mandery at the briefing, added: “The industry has made necessary efficiency improvements, which puts the industry in a position of strength as it faces continuing global challenges. For full year 2010, it helped the sector post a record trade surplus of €47 billion.

High Demand for Chemicals Could Lead to Production Bottlenecks

Cefic expects the EU gross domestic product to grow by 1.8 per cent in 2011, up from 1.6 per cent originally forecast in November. The expansion forecast for 2012 remains virtually unchanged at 1.8 percent. Optimistic predictions for the industrial output of the European Union states expect manufacturing to grow by around six percent in 2011 and three percent in 2012.

Strong orders from EU durable goods manufacturing, especially light vehicles and machinery and equipment, have led to bottlenecks that now appear in chemicals subsectors as demand outstrips supply. Construction, an important chemicals customer, remains depressed but shows early signs of turning the corner.

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