Singapore chemical firms pessimistic of H1 ’12 business conditions

31 January 2012 08:05  [Source: ICIS news]

SINGAPORE (ICIS)--Chemical firms in Singapore remain pessimistic about business conditions in the first half of this year amid the economic uncertainties in Europe and the US, according to a government survey released on Tuesday.

“In the chemicals cluster, a net weighted balance of 5% of firms are less optimistic about the business situation in the first six months of 2012 compared to a quarter ago,” the Economic Development Board (EDB) said.

Within the chemicals cluster, the petroleum segment foresees a weak business outlook because of high crude oil prices and poor refining margins, while the rest expect business conditions to remain similar to a quarter ago, the board said.

Chemical firms in Singapore are expecting an increase in output in the first quarter of this year as their plants return to normal production following maintenance turnarounds in the preceding quarter, the EDB said in a statement.

Overall, the city-state’s manufacturing sector remains pessimistic about business prospects in the first half of 2012 amid uncertainties over the global economy, the statement said.

A weighted 18% of manufacturers expect deterioration in business conditions, while a weighted 7% expect business conditions to improve, according to the survey.

A net weighted balance of 11% of manufacturers expect the business situation in the first six months of this year to be less favourable than that of the fourth quarter of 2011, the EDB added.

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By: Nurluqman Suratman

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