01 March 2012 14:34 [Source: ICIS news]
(updates throughout, adds comments from VCI general manager)
LONDON (ICIS)--Germany's chemical producers’ trade group has revised its 2012 chemical production output forecast for the country to zero after reporting a decline in production in the fourth quarter of 2011, it said on Thursday.
The revision came after VCI reported that
Compared with the fourth quarter of 2010, production was down by 4.3% year on year; excluding pharmaceuticals, the year-on-year decrease was 6.0%.
However, the trade group said that the longer-term prospects for the country’s chemical industry remain promising.
Production growth should resume in 2013, rising by about 2.0–3.0% from 2012, it said. Through 2020, VCI expects
VCI general manager Utz Tillmann said that headwinds from the eurozone debt crisis had hit the chemical industry in the fourth quarter. The industry now seemed to be in a trough, he added.
However, Tillmann said there were signs that the situation was improving, and he pointed to recent economic sentiment indicators and industry surveys.
“We are working on the assumption that dynamic forces will prevail in coming months,” said Tillmann.
As for the fourth quarter of 2011,
Fourth-quarter chemical industry sales fell by 2.3% from the third quarter, to €41.7bn ($55.6bn). Compared with the 2010 fourth quarter, sales were up by 1.8% year on year.
Chemicals prices stayed at a high level in the fourth quarter, but they did not continue to rise further after strong price hikes in the earlier part of 2011, VCI said.
Despite the weak quarter, firms continued to hire workers. The industry now employs 427,000 workers, 3% more than in 2010.
For the full year of 2011, VCI reported
Full-year sales were €184.2bn, up by 7.7% from 2010. Producer prices rose by 5.2%, while full-year capacity utilisation averaged 84.7%, compared with 84.6% in 2010.
“Those numbers, however, cannot disguise the fact that the economic recovery has run out of breath, even in
In fact, Germany's chemical production had been falling – on a sequential month-to-month basis – since May 2011, the group said.
($1 = €0.75)
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