European Chemical Industry

Upward Trend Goes On: Europe's Chemical Industry Back On Track?

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Sales Flat During January-March 2014 and 2.3 % Higher than the Pre-Crisis Level

Year-on-year, March sales were up 0.3 per cent compared to March the year prior. Total EU chemicals sales during the first three months of 2014 were 0.1 per cent higher than the same period of last year, and just 2.3 per cent higher than the pre-crisis, full-year peak reached in 2008.

Confidence Improved Slightly in May 2014, Remains Well Above its Long-Term Average

The EU chemical industry confidence indicator (CCI) showed a marginal increase in May. The CCI monthly reading reflected continued improvement in companies’ overall order books. Output expectations and current stock levels for the month experienced no significant changes. Meanwhile, there appears no sign of improvement in EU export order books or employment expectations. Producer prices showed a slight decline in May 2014 compared to April of the same year. First quarter 2014 capacity utilisation in the EU chemicals sector reached 81.2 per cent, from 78.9 per cent in fourth quarter 2013. It remains 3.8 percentage points below the post-crisis peak recorded in the first quarter of 2011, and only a half percentage point below the long-term average from 1995 to 2012.