02 March 2011 11:28 [Source: ICIS news]
LONDON (ICIS)--EU chemicals production in December 2010 increased by 3.9% year on year as the sector continued to recover, with annual growth of 10% for the whole of last year, an industry association said on Wednesday.
The production growth achieved in 2010 was the result of exports and increased orders from other EU manufacturing sectors, the European Chemical Industry Council (Cefic) said in its latest chemicals trends report.
“The EU chemicals sector has enjoyed a strong 2010, but the industry remains about 5.6% below pre-crisis levels,” said Moncef Hadhri, the group’s chief economist.
“The data indicate that the EU chemicals sector recovery will continue in 2011 at a slower pace, with some differences between countries and chemicals sub-sectors.”
Cefic said December's figures were lower than in November 2010 because of the usual seasonal slowdown.
The association also said that December’s production index was 18% higher than the bottom level reached in the same month of 2008.
The EU external trade surplus for chemicals improved during the first 11 months of 2010 by 9.7% year on year, Cefic said.
Chemicals generated an extra EU trade surplus of nearly €42.9bn ($58.8bn) from January to November, up by €3.8bn from the same period in 2009.
Sales of chemicals in November 2010 were 16% higher year on year. Total sales for the first 11 months of last year were up by 17%.
Polymers, petrochemicals and basic inorganics were recovery “standouts”, Cefic said.
Polymers production in 2010 rose by 15% year on year, while basic inorganics and petrochemicals rose by 13% and 8.1%, respectively.
Consumer and specialty chemicals, which were less affected by the global economic crisis, recovered at a more modest rate. Specialty chemicals production rose by 6.5% in 2010 and consumer chemicals were up by 6.7%.
Cefic said there had been a significant recovery in 2010 by most EU chemicals users.
The latest EU Economic Sentiment Indicator (ESI) increased strongly in February, climbing by 1.4 points to 107.2, following a pause in its upward trend in January, Cefic said in its report.
($1 = €0.73)
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