02 December 2010 11:05 [Source: ICIS news]
LONDON (ICIS)--EU chemicals production in September increased by 6.5% year on year, but the sector is still below the pre-crisis levels reached in 2007, chemical industry association Cefic said on Thursday.
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EU production data for the first nine months showed that
“The September data confirm that the overall situation in the EU chemicals sector continued to improve. The data also suggest that the recovery of the EU chemicals sector will continue in the coming months at a slower pace, with differences in EU countries and chemicals sub-sectors,” Cefic chief economist Moncef Hadhri said.
“The forecast remains mostly the same, as overall activity will moderate through the end of the year,” he added.
The EU external trade surplus for chemicals improved 9.7% during the first eight months compared with the same period the year before.
The sector generated an extra-EU trade surplus of nearly €32bn ($42bn) in the period from January to August, up €2.8bn compared with the same period in 2009.
Cefic said the specialty chemicals sector was the main contributor to the additional surplus. External demand from the rest of Europe, Latin America and emerging
Prices rose by 5% during the first three quarters, compared with January-September 2009.
Cefic said that according to the latest Business and Consumer Survey (BCS) released in November by the European Commission, the EU Economic Sentiment Indicator (ESI) improved further, boosted by strong improvements in Germany, and it is now above its long-term average.
“Gains in industrial confidence reflected improvements in order books and production expectations. Export order books have also become more upbeat, in both the [EU] and the [eurozone],” said Cefic.
($1 = €0.76)
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