Market Scenario Cefic Launches Chemical Quarterly Report

Editor: Ahlam Rais

In its most recent quarterly report, Cefic has revealed that the EU27 chemical output has returned to the pre-pandemic level but large differences still remain across countries. The key findings of the report have been highlighted here.

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In April 2021, output in the EU27 chemicals sector was 14.3 % above the pre-Covid-19 level.
In April 2021, output in the EU27 chemicals sector was 14.3 % above the pre-Covid-19 level.
(Source: Guillaume Périgois/Unsplash)

Brussels/Belgium – Cefic (The European Chemical Industry Council) has published the most recent data on the output in the chemical industry and other manufacturing sectors, as well as sales and trade volumes.

The key findings of the report are as follows:

  • Economic sentiment, results of the first 6 months of 2021: In June 2021, the Economic Sentiment Indicator (ESI) increased strongly in the EU compared to May. The ESI largely outstrips its long-term average and pre-pandemic level, hitting a 21-year high. The ESI’s increase was propelled by improving confidence in the services sector, but all other surveyed business sectors (i.e. industry, retail trade, construction) and consumers recorded an improvement, too.
  • Manufacturing output, results of the first 4 months of 2021: Following the Covid-19 outbreak EU27 manufacturing output was up 10.8 % during the first four months of 2021, compared to the same period of 2020. In April 2021, output in the EU27 manufacturing sector was 42 % above the level of preceding the Covid-19 crisis.
  • Output, results of the first 4 months of 2021: Output in the EU27 chemicals sector increased by 5.2 % in 2021 compared to the previous year’s level (Jan-Apr-2020). In April 2021, output in the EU27 chemicals sector was 14.3 % above the pre-Covid-19 level.
  • EU27 country analysis, results of the first 4 months of 2021: Country analysis of the spill-over effects of Covid-19 on the chemical business shows that France has lost about 7 % of its chemical production due to the pandemic, followed by Italy which has the second highest loss of production (about 6 %). Among the largest European countries, Spain and Germany has lost less than 1 % of their production. Netherlands and Poland seem to recover totally from the pandemic.
  • Global analysis, results of the first 3 months of 2021: China continues to grow significantly, the EU27 recovered well while USA and Japan still below the previous year’s level (Jan-Mar). The chemical industry still has been affected in North America by the negative effects of the winter storms in the Gulf of Mexico – especially for basic chemical plants.
Country analysis of the spill-over effects of Covid-19 on the chemical business shows that France has lost about 7 % of its chemical production due to the pandemic, followed by Italy.

Commenting on the latest industry figures, Cefic Director General, Marco Mensink, said: We are encouraged to see that the chemical output is returning to the pre-pandemic levels but it’s clear that challenging times remain as the chemical sector is undergoing a ‘double-twin transition’ to meet the European Green Deal goals. Indeed, as the chemical industry, we are asked to go climate-neutral and circular, and digital, all while navigating the largest chemicals regulatory framework in a while, the Chemicals Strategy for Sustainability.

The upcoming energy policy reform ‘Fit for 55’ package is an opportunity to safeguard the chemical sector’s key role in the Green Deal industrial transformation by applying a sector-specific approach and encouraging investments in green technologies which our sector is innovating and developing, such as e-crackers, chemical recycling, hydrogen, CCS and CCU infrastructure and other new technologies contributing to climate action.

Read the full Chemicals Quarterly Report here.

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