Market Scenario Latest Data Reveals the Recovery of the EU Chemical Output is Slowing Down: Cefic

Editor: Ahlam Rais

Cefic’s quarterly report has stated that chemical output in the EU27 dropped by 4.4 % from January to September 2020 compared to the previous year’s level. It also revealed that the global chemical output declined by 1.8 % in the first three quarters of 2020 compared to the same period of 2019.

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China is still the main driver contributing to the global chemical growth.
China is still the main driver contributing to the global chemical growth.
(Source: Deposit Photos)

Belgium – The latest chemical quarterly report by the European Chemical Industry Council (Cefic) has revealed the following key points:

• Chemical output in the EU27 dropped by 4.4 % from January to September 2020 compared to the previous year’s level (Jan-Sept 2019), and the EU27 manufacturing output was down 10.6 % compared to the same period of last year, both following the Covid-19 outbreak in Europe.

• Country data shows that among the largest European countries, France and Italy are the most impacted by the crisis in Europe whereas production assessment in Poland reached the same level as last year.

• On a global level, the chemical output declined by 1.8 % in the first three quarters of 2020 compared to the same period of 2019. The EU27 chemical exports outside the EU27 area is €6.6 billion below the previous year’s level (Jan-Aug 2019, -5.5 %).

Marco Mensink, Cefic Director General said, “While we were encouraged to see signs of recovery following the Covid-19 outbreak in May, early signs indicate this recovery is now slowing down. As widely recognised, the second wave of Covid-19 is serious and will likewise impact the chemical business in the upcoming months. This underpins the need for rapid approval and implementation of the EU Economic Recovery Plan, that needs to be firmly embedded in the EU Industrial Strategy and the Green Deal agenda. Only this will ensure that the recovery funding achieves an industrial transformation that will be sustainable and contributes to a resilient economy over time.”

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Report

Key messages: Chemical output in the EU27 dropped by 4.4 % from January to September 2020 compared to the previous year’s level (Jan-Sept 2019), following the Covid-19 outbreak in Europe. Output in Q2-2020 (bottom) reported a drop of 8.7 % compared to Q1-2020, followed by a significant increase (+6.1 %) in Q3-2020 compared to the previous quarter of the same year. Early signs indicate that the recovery which started in May this year, is now slowing down.

As commonly recognised, the second wave of Covid-19 is serious, and will likewise impact the chemical business in the coming months. The length and severity of the second wave are the key parameters to be followed to further assess the impact of Covid-19 to the business landscape in the upcoming months.

The latest data shows that global chemical output declined by 1.8 % in the first three quarters of 2020 compared to the same period of 2019. China is still the main driver contributing to the global growth. China continued to perform well, and production curve has already experienced the V-shape. In September 2020, the Chinese production index booked the fifth consecutive increase, and output level was the highest one since ever. Time will tell if the experience from the first wave of the pandemic will ensure better management of the pandemic second wave.

To read the full report, click here.

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