24 November 2003 15:51 [Source: ICIS news]
LONDON (CNI)--The Confederation of British Industries (CBI) revealed Tuesday that the UK chemicals sector expects higher production in the next three months but sees lower prices.
The CBI’s latest monthly survey showed that 20% of chemical company respondents expected production to rise over the next three months, compared with 9% in the previous month.
The report added that only 16% of respondents felt output may fall, which was down on the 44% the month before. Some 64% saw output being steady compared with 46% previously.
A fall in average prices at which domestic orders are booked was expected by 52% of respondents, up from 32%. Some 37% expected prices to be maintained, a decrease from 62% last time.
On the current chemicals order books, only 20% of the survey respondents regarded those as below normal, less than the 50% in the previous month. Some 3% viewed their orders as above normal, up from 1%. Some 76% saw their orders as normal, which was up from 48%.
For the entire manufacturing sector, the CBI said there were more “encouraging signs” as domestic and export orders improved in November.
Output is expected to remain broadly unchanged over the next three months, but pricing conditions are expected to be tough over the same period as prices fall more steeply.
Douglas Godden, head of economic analysis at CBI, said: "Manufacturers' order books are now a little fuller than earlier in the year, justifying the improvement in sentiment picked up in the October survey. The firmer global recovery is finally beginning to bolster export orders. But conditions facing the manufacturing sector are still tough and are likely to remain so for a good while to come."
The CBI survey was carried out between 22 October and 7 November and 837 manufacturers responded.
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