Specialty chems demand still below pre-crisis levels - Clariant

20 October 2010 13:55  [Source: ICIS news]

SHANGHAI (ICIS)--Global demand for specialty chemicals is still below levels before the start of the global financial crisis in 2008, the CEO of Swiss specialty chemicals producer Clariant said on Wednesday.

If the years 2007 and 2008 were defined as normal years, and if 2008 is compared with 2010, Clariant is still 8% behind in sales from 2008 and 2007on a global basis, Hariolf Kottmann said.

He was speaking at a press conference for the official opening of Clariant’s new Greater China headquarters in Shanghai.

“Compare [2010] to last year…currently we have a growth of…7-8% in local currency. That means Clariant dropped in 2009 around about 16-18%, depending on the business,” he said.

“And we have now caught up around 8%, but we are still below the level which the company made before the [financial] crisis,” said Kottman.

The specialty chemicals industry will still take longer to recover from the financial crisis given that the global economy will remain soft for the next several months, he said.

However, Clariant is still confident of its growth in the Chinese market and expects sales in China to increase by about 30% year on year in 2010.

“Assuming that we had the same growth in China in the next five years [that the company had in the last two to four years], we would be absolutely satisfied,” said Kottman.

For more on Clariant visit ICIS company intelligence
Read John Richardson and Malini Hariharan’s Asian Chemical Connections blog
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By: Judith Wang
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