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Market & trends Confidence Grows – EU Chemical Industry to Turn the Tide?

| Editor: Dominik Stephan

Europe's chemical industry is facing hard times: Recent figures indicate that year on year production fell by 1.4 per cent during the first seven months of 2013. But the decline trend begins to slow, as confidence rises. Are Europe's chemical companies about to turn the tide?

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EU chemicals sector output drops 1.4 per cent during first seven months of 2013
EU chemicals sector output drops 1.4 per cent during first seven months of 2013
(Picture: CEFIC)

The EU chemicals production decreased by 1.4 per cent during the first seven months of 2013 compared with the same period in 2012, according to the latest Cefic Chemicals Trends Report. Monthly production data for July showed a 0.4 per cent drop compared with July 2012.

The EU chemicals net trade surplus reached €25.4 billion during the first six months of the year – a €1.2 billion improvement on the same period last year. EU chemical prices in July 2013 were 0.4 per cent higher than in July 2012. January-June sales were 4.1 per cent lower compared with the first six months of the previous year. The EU chemicals confidence indicator (CCI) improved in August 2013 in comparison with July 2013, and capacity utilisation in the EU chemicals industry increased from 77.9 per cent in first quarter 2013 to 78.1 per cent in the second quarter.

July output 0.4 per cent less than year ago

Polymers and consumer chemicals output grew by 1.4 and 1.1 per cent respectively in July compared with July 2012.Petrochemicals output also rose in July 2013 for the third consecutive month since May 2013, registering a 0.6 per cent increase on July 2012. Basic inorganics and specialty chemicals output dropped, however, by 1.3 and 1.5 per cent respectively compared with July 2012. As a whole, total EU chemicals sector output went down by 1.4 per cent during the first seven months of 2013. July monthly production was 0.4 per cent less than in July 2012.

July chemical prices 0.4 per cent higher than in 2012

In July 2013, EU monthly prices of chemicals and plastics went up by 0.4 and 2.1 per cent respectively compared to July 2012. EU chemicals producer prices were 0.2 per cent higher during the first seven months of 2013 compared to the same period in 2012.

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