22 May 2006 15:59 [Source: ICIS news]
LONDON (ICIS news)--Trade group UIC on Monday cut its 2006 volume output growth forecast for the French chemicals industry to 1.4% from an earlier estimate of 2.2%.
The revised forecast, which does not include pharmaceuticals, followed a 1.6% drop in first quarter output from the sector excluding pharmaceuticals.
UIC's earlier 2.2% growth estimate was made only about two months ago.
The first quarter volume dip confirmed the fragility of growth in 2005, when output volumes, excluding pharmaceuticals, expanded by 3%, the UIC said.
Output of organic chemicals rose by 2.1% in the first quarter of this year, UIC said. Its data showed inorganic chemicals output to be 3% lower due largely to the shutdown of a number of production units.
Specialty chemicals volumes remained stable with growth of just 0.1% due, the UIC said, to weakness in a number of market segments and a substantial drop in output of photographic chemicals. Perfumes and toiletries output was up but detergents output fell, the UIC data showed.
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It insisted that competitive electricity prices, stronger innovation, particular in green chemistry, and less constraining regulations "are the first conditions for
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