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Chemical Trends Report EU Chemicals Output Contracted Slightly

| Editor: Alexander Stark

Cefic pubished their Chemical Trends Report. According to the Chemical Trends Report published by Cefic, EU chemicals output shrank by 0,7 % in the first four months of 2016.

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Cefic published their chemicals trends report.
Cefic published their chemicals trends report.
(Picture: Cefic )

Brussels/Belgium – Further trends included in the trend report include producer prices, which fell by 3.8 % during the same period, while sales declined 3.1 % during the first quarter of 2016, compared to the same period of 2015. Apart from "other chemicals”, "crop protection”, and "cosmetics”, all chemicals subsectors remained below the pre-crisis level of 2008.

The first four months of 2016 saw output growth recorded in the following sub-sectors:

  • Dyes and pigments: 3.1 %
  • Plastics in primary forms: 2.7 %,
  • Perfumes and toilet preparations: 2.4 %
  • Other chemicals: 1.4 %
  • Paints and coatings: 1.3 %
  • Synthetic rubber: 0.8 %
  • Industrial gases: 0.7 %

The chemicals sub-sectors registering negative growth are:

  • Agrochemicals: -11.2 %
  • other basic inorganics: -2.7 %
  • Soaps and detergents: -1.8 %
  • Petrochemicals: -0.7 %

Capacity utilisation remained unchanged in the first quarter of 2016, much closer to its long-term average. Employment improved slightly in the first quarter of 2016 compared to the fourth quarter of 2015. The EU net trade surplus was € 9.8 billion for the first quarter of 2016, up by € 0.3 billion compared to the first quarter of 2015.

The Rest of Europe

The EU trade surplus through March 2016 with the rest of Europe was € 2.6 billion, € 0.8 billion higher compared to the first quarter of 2015. Underlying this figure was a sharp fall in EU imports from Russia which showed a decline of 19.1 %sharp fall in EU imports from Russia which showed a decline of 19.1 %sharp fall in EU imports from Russia which showed a decline of 19.1 %, or € 405 million. EU exports to Russia fell 6.7 %, or € 129 million.

The EU chemicals sector still registered a trade deficit with South Korea, Japan, and India during the first quarter of 2016. Taking together the three countries, the EU chemicals deficit reached the value of € 578 million during the first three months of 2016. The EU chemicals trade surplus with Asia – excluding Japan and China – widened by € 149 million to € 1.78 billion.

The EU’s net chemicals trade balance with China widened by € 117 million.

The EU chemicals trade surplus with the United States decreased by € 0.43 billion to € 1.07 billion during March 2016.

Employment improves slightly in first quarter of 2016

The level of chemical industry employment rose slightly in the first quarter of 2016 compared to the last quarter of 2015. The sector directly employed 1,171 million people in the first quarter of 2016, up from 1,167 during the last quarter of 2015. Payroll levels in first quarter 2016 are nearly 9.0 % below the peak level reached in third quarter 2007. Yearly data analysis shows employment slightly lower in the whole year 2015 compared to the level of 2014 (0.1 %).

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