The European Chemical Industry Council (Cefic) has forecasted that the growth of the EU chemical industry will stabilise in the coming year. The council is also predicting a 0.5 % growth in the next year as compared to 2018.
Belgium – While we expect that the industry can recover in 2019 from a decline in demand from the automotive industry in 2018, the industry’s 2019 performance might be impacted by trade tensions between the US, China and Europe, as well as the uncertainty around Brexit.
Investors and customer industries are becoming more cautious in this volatile environment, while demand from the automotive, agricultural and construction sectors – the key customers of the chemical industry - is predicted to increase slightly in 2019.
Marco Mensink, Cefic’s Director General: “We remain cautiously optimistic about the 2019 prospects. The forecasted 1.5% growth of manufacturing industries should be sufficient to keep demand for chemicals at the same or higher level in 2019.”
2018 posted a 0.5 % decline in chemical production compared to the previous year because of higher oil prices, lower demand from the automotive sector, and unusually low water levels in European rivers, which caused transportation delays.
Over the long term, the EU chemical industry is expecting stable growth fuelled by increasing demand in sustainable solutions and technologies developed by the industry, as the EU moves further towards a lower-carbon and more circular economy.