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Downward Trend for Europe's Chemical Industry: Debt Crisis Takes its Toll

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Three Percent Production Drop Expected for Chemical Industry

Now the outlook has significantly clouded: After a weak second quarter, the VCI now forecasts a drop in chemical production by three percent against 2011 for the year 2012 as a whole. With a probable price increase by 2.5 percent, sales of the German chemical industry are likely to stagnate at 184 billion euros.

Basic Chemicals Affected Most by Economy Crisis

The buying resistance of major customer industries has led to a significant production cut for German chemical companies: In the second quarter, chemical production fell by 2.8 percent against the period from January to March 2012.

Especially the basic chemicals sector was hit hard by this development: With productivity drops exceeding -4 percent, no other sector was similarly struck. At 84.1 percent, capacity utilization in German chemical plants remained in the normal range.

Price Increase Bolsters Falling Sales Figures

Despite declining sales figures, the upward price trend accelerated in the second quarter of 2012 with chemical prices increasing by 1.4 percent over the previous quarter. Prices rose by 2.5 percent in a direct year–on–year comparison.

The downward trend is inevitable: Sales figures could well give in by around four percent, insiders estimate. Will this development affect the European employment market? – More on page 3!

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