Europe's Big Chemical Companies Hold Their Own Despite Crisis
Largely, these investments will go into capacity expansions. The VCI’s president emphasizes: „We assume that this year our industry will invest some 6.7 billion euros in Germany, i.e. 300 million euros or 5 percent more than back in 2011.”The increase in employment, too, shows that the companies are positive about their long-term perspectives. In the 1st half 2012, the number of jobs in the German chemical industry rose by 2.0 percent to currently around 437,000 staff.
Chemical Sales Fell Slightly, Despite Good Domestic Figures
Irrespective of price increases, total sales of the German chemical industry in the 1st half 2012 fell by 0.5 percent and totalled 89.2 billion euros. Because of the good economic situation of industry, business with domestic customers improved by 0.5 percent to 35.5 billion euros. The recession in countries of Southern Europe adversely affected foreign business, which dropped by 1.0 percent to a volume of only 53.7 billion euros.
Rising raw material costs forced many companies to raise the prices of their products. All in all, in the 1st half 2012 chemical-pharmaceutical products were some 3 percent costlier than they had been one year earlier.
Imports and Exports Profit from Asia and Latin America
From January to June 2012, exports – this term includes foreign sales of chemical companies, re-exports and exports of chemicals by other industries – increased by 1 percent to 77.2 billion euros, states the VCI. But this time, growth came solely from Asia, South America and the USA.
With the lastingly good situation of industry in Germany, imports of chemical products increased too. In the 1st half 2012, they were worth 54.1 billion euros and thus 2 percent higher than in the relevant period of 2011.