23 March 2005 17:12 [Source: ICIS news]
LONDON (CNI)--UK chemical manufacturers have lowered dramatically their expectations for volume output over the next three months, according to statistics released by the Confederation of British Industry (CBI) on Wednesday.
Only 25% of respondents in the CBI's March survey believe output will rise, compared with 65% when asked the same question last month. And the number expecting output to fall has doubled to 24%. Fifty-one percent think output volumes will be unchanged against 23% in February.
While 42% of manufacturers now expect the average price at which domestic orders for chemical products are booked to increase over the next three months, 55% said prices will remain stable and 3% believe prices they will fall. This was relatively unchanged from respondents’ expectations a month ago.
In March, 84% said current stocks of finished goods were adequate compared with 68% in February. Only 10% described their stock levels as less than adequate, while 26% said the same last month.
Producers’ total orders were normal, according to 58% of participants, with 20% saying orders were above normal. In February, 53% said orders were normal and 31% told CBI they were above normal.
Export orders were normal, said 61% of respondents, while 20% regarded current exports to be below normal. The comparative figures from February were 58% and 14%. ?xml:namespace>
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