18 August 2008 16:49 [Source: ICIS news]
MUMBAI (ICIS news)--Output in the EU chemicals industry excluding pharmaceuticals was down 1.3% in May 2008 from the same month last year, Cefic said on Monday.
“All chemical sectors experienced a similar negative trend in May, with output declining in the range of 0 to 4.5%,” the industry council added. "Only petrochemicals grew modestly [at 2.3%]."
However, on a year to date basis output in the EU chemicals industry excluding pharmaceuticals only suffered a small decline of 0.1% the first five months of 2008 compared with the same period of 2007.
Petrochemicals grew 2% over the same period while pharmaceuticals rose 2.2% and inorganics were up 1%, it said.
Chemicals including pharmaceuticals in the first five months of 2008 grew 0.7% compared to the same period of 2007 and was below its long-run average, it added.
Chemical product prices excluding pharmaceuticals increased 6.2% month on month and 5.5% for the first five months of 2008 compared with the same period of 2007 as upstream crude costs soared, Cefic said.
Polymers prices rose 3.2% from the 2007 year-to-date period and specialties and consumer chemicals 1.7% and 1.9% respectively.
The growth rate of May 2008 chemical sales excluding pharma were 4.9% higher than the same month last year, confirming the continuing rising trend according to Eurostat, it said. Year-to-date sales grew 5.5% more than the same period in 2007
Latest available data since February indicates that the extra-EU chemical trade balance, excluding pharmaceuticals, rose 21% over the first two months of 2008 in comparison to 2007, reversing the pattern of last year’s trade development.
Extra-EU chemical exports grew 7% and imports 1.3%.
“Very recent developments in the euro-dollar exchange in August might also support trade development, as the ?xml:namespace>
Data from July 2008 show managers in the chemical industry have reduced optimism in regards to product expectations owing to their assessment of demand for the coming months deteriorating compared with June 2008.
Managers' assessment of stocks of finished products registered a slight improvement, but Cefic's Economic Sentiment Indicator (ESI) for July fell by 5.8 points to 88.7 - its largest month-on-month drop since October 2001 and its lowest level since March 2003.
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