European Chemical Industry Cefic Expects Recovery for Europe's Chemical Industry

Editor: Dominik Stephan

Customer industries like cars and construction will become a growth motor for chemicals in the EU, the chemical industry association Cefic believes. A 2 % growth in 2014 could be followed by a modest 1.5 % in 2015.

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European chemical industry figures for may 2014
European chemical industry figures for may 2014
(Source: Cefic)

European chemicals output will grow by 2.0% this year, driven by rising demand from customer industries, particularly car-makers, and some stabilisation in the construction industry, Cefic, the European Chemical Industry Council, said today.

Production growth is expected to continue in 2015, though the pace is likely to slow to 1.5 % as restocking tails off. The return to growth follows a modest fall in output during 2013 as the industry wrestled with the second slowdown of Europe’s double-dip recession. After a slump by more than 20 %, Europe’s production of chemicals has yet to match the peak achieved in 2008.

“We Expect a Return to Growth”, Cefic President Bock Says

Cefic President Kurt Bock said: “We expect a return to growth in output by the European chemical industry this year. However, the recovery is volatile and the pace of expansion is being held back by high energy prices, which put European producers at a severe disadvantage compared to those in North America and the Middle East who benefit in particular from cheaper gas.”

In its bi-annual industry forecast, Cefic said that chemical industry output contracted by 0.2 % in 2013, slightly less than the 0.5% expected. The outlook for 2014 has also improved: growth in 2014 is now expected to reach 2.0 %, excluding pharmaceuticals. Looking at the wider economy, European confidence indicators are positive, and purchasing managers’ expectations suggest that Europe’s industrial recovery is broadening out.

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