VIDEO: Full recovery for EU chemicals by 2012 - economist

07 December 2010 17:00  [Source: ICIS news]

BRUSSELS (ICIS)--Europe’s chemical sector should return to pre-crisis levels by 2012 provided there are no further shocks to the economy, a leading UK economist for the industry said on Tuesday.

“Provided we don’t get any more big road blocks and we continue going at a steady rate I think we should see a full recovery some time in 2012. That won’t be true of every sector or every single country but on aggregate,” Alan Eastwood, economics advisor to the UK’s Chemical Industries Association told ICIS.

Speaking in a personal capacity on the sidelines of European trade group Cefic’s economic outlook meeting in Brussels, he said: “There are risks – we could see another big rise in oil prices. We could see crumpling in the European economy if countries tighten their economies too quickly. But because we sell to such a diverse range of sectors I’m reasonably hopeful the industry will keep going.

"So far we haven’t seen major volumes of production coming into Europe. As long as they can make money selling into China and the rest of Asia I think they will continue to do that.

"I have seen some suggestions that the overhang of petrochemical capacity was over-exaggerated and that we will be able to absorb what is coming on stream without too much devastation.

"I’m sure as long as the oil price stays high and those folks have a lot of money coming in they’re going to want to diversify and make the most of their raw materials. The question is – where will it all go to? If it goes to China or Asia then we’ll be OK. But it could come here at some point," Eastwood said.

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By: Will Beacham
+44 20 8652 3214

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