02 May 2012 11:47 [Source: ICIS news]
LONDON (ICIS)--EU chemicals production fell by 2.4% year on year in February as all sectors registered a drop except for consumer chemicals, Cefic said in its Chemicals Trends Report on Wednesday.
Although consumer chemicals production was up by 0.7% year on year in February, basic inorganics and specialty chemicals production decreased by 5.2% and 4.5% respectively on a year-on-year basis in February, said Cefic.
It added that petrochemicals production declined by 3.5% year on year in February, while the figure for polymers was down by 2.6%.
Cefic said February 2012 data also showed that the level of chemicals production in the EU was 5.3% below the peak figure reached in 2007.
“EU chemicals production was negatively affected in the first quarter by continued deterioration in the EU business climate and weak macro-economic activity,” said Cefic chief economist Moncef Hadhri.
“The sector’s downward growth trend is partly the result of financial turbulence stemming from the European debt crisis and the intensifying fiscal consolidation efforts in most EU member states,” he added.
However, EU chemical prices were up 4.4% year on year in February, led by price increases in basic inorganics.
“[EU chemical price increases were] driven by the price for basic inorganics, which increased by 7.2% during the period. Prices climbed for consumer chemicals by 1.9%, while pharmaceuticals prices edged down by 1.4% in February as compared with the year prior,” said Cefic.
The Chemical Trends Report also showed that the EU chemicals net trade surplus rose by €0.8bn ($1.1bn) year on year in January 2012, reaching €4.1bn.
Meanwhile, Cefic reported that EU chemicals sales grew 0.2% year on year in January 2012, while total sales for 2011 were 10.7% higher than in 2010.
($1 = €0.76)
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