According to a study published by Cefic, the production in the EU chemicals sector grew 2.4 % through April 2017 compared to the same period of 2016. The output reached the highest level for eight years.
Brussels/Belgium — Production saw a significant increase in plastics (8.0 %), dyes and pigments (3.7 %), basic inorganics (3.3 %), and cosmetics (1.9 %), the study claims. No significant growth for specialty chemicals (0.5 %) was recorded.
The upward trend of prices accelerated at the beginning of the year and, for the first time in four years, producer prices were above the previous year’s level. Larger production volumes and the persistent upward trend of producer prices brought a clear rise in sales. The positive development of industrial demand and encouraging construction activities drove chemical business in the EU market.
Domestic sales developed favourably through March 2017. Sales revenue generated by EU companies in the EU single market reached the value of € 92.0 billion through March 2017. This represents an additional revenue of € 5.6 billion (6.5 %, y-o-y).
EU chemicals exports outside the European Union reached the value of € 39.7 billion during the first quarter of 2017, generating an additional revenue of € 3.9 billion compared to the first quarter of 2016 (10.8 per cent).
Sales revenue (domestic + exports) posted the value of € 131.7 billion during the first quarter of 2017, up from €122.2 billion through March 2016 (7.8 %, y-o-y). Total sales went up by € 9.5 billion through March 2017, with exports outside the EU contributing to 40 % of this additional sales revenue.
EU chemicals imports from the non-EU area were valued at € 27.4 billion during the first quarter of 2017, up from € 26.1 billion registered one year ago (5.2 %, y-o-y).
Chemicals consumption in the EU home market developed positively through March 2017. Consumption went up significantly, generating an additional value of € 7.0 billion (6.2 %, y-o-y).
The trade surplus generated by the EU chemicals sector outside the European Union reached the value of € 12.3 billion during the first quarter of 2017, up from € 9.7 billion recorded during the same period of 2016. The trade performance of the EU chemicals sector (in value) improved, with export growth far outstripping import growth through March 2017.