Cefic Chemicals Trends Report

EU Chemicals Output up 7.0 Per Cent

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EU Production Growth Pushes on

Chemicals production in the European Union stands at about 1.4 per cent below its peak 2007 level. The January 2010 EU production index was up 23.1 per cent from the low in December 2008. Consumer chemicals production increased 9.3 per cent in January compared with the year prior. Polymers production rose by 6.5 per cent compared with the same period the year prior. Petrochemicals rose by 6.0 per cent while basic inorganics grew by 5.9 per cent. Specialty chemicals rose 3.6 per cent.

EU Chemicals Employment

Employment in the EU chemicals industry decreased by 2.6 per cent during 2010 compared to 2009, according to Eurostat data. Employment in the sector was 1.16 million in 2010, down 31,000 from 2009. The EU chemicals industry is shedding jobs at a slower year-on-year rate than the steep 4.7 per cent drop experienced in 2009, more than double the 15-year trend job loss rate of two per cent.

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EU chemicals prices push up

Prices registered in January 2011 were 9.4 per cent higher than in January 2010. Petrochemicals registered a 17.6 per cent increase for the year, plastics were up 13.7 per cent and basic inorganics increased 11.9 per cent. The price upswing for the sector was mainly due to uncertainties surrounding the business climate in the Middle East. Price data shows that chemical products excluding pharmaceuticals were 5.5 per cent higher in 2010 compared with 2009.

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