Germany Q1 2012 chemical production rises 1.5% from Q4 2011 – VCI

10 May 2012 14:17  [Source: ICIS news]

LONDON (ICIS)--Germany’s chemical production rose by 1.5% in the first quarter from the 2011 fourth quarter, the country’s chemical producers’ trade group said in an update on Thursday.

However, Frankfurt-based Verband der Chemischen Industrie (VCI) said first-quarter chemical production was 4% below the 2011 first quarter, and the expansion in production will likely only be moderate in coming months. 

VCI left its previous forecast of zero growth in Germany’s chemical production in 2012 unchanged.

“Order books in the industry are filling up again, and economic indicators are encouraging,” said Klaus Engel, the president of VCI and CEO of Germany-based specialty chemicals major Evonik.

However, Engel warned not to attach too much importance to the latest numbers as the eurozone sovereign debt crisis still dampens demand in the EU, which is by far the most important export market for Germany’s chemical producers.

The sequential growth in the first quarter from the 2011 fourth quarter included all major segments of the industry, with the exception of pharmaceuticals, in which production was down by 2.2%.

Prices rose by 0.6% compared with the 2011 fourth quarter, reflecting higher raw material costs. Compared with the 2011 first quarter, prices were up by 3.0% year on year.

Sales rose by 3.5% from the fourth quarter to €43.1bn ($56.0bn), with domestic sales up by 5.0% and export sales up by 2.5%.

VCI noted that demand from emerging markets in Asia and from the US showed some momentum in the first quarter.

Compared with the 2011 first quarter, chemical industry sales were down by 1.5% year on year.

Chemical industry capacity plant utilisation averaged 84.1% during the quarter, compared with 81.7% in the 2011 fourth quarter.

($1 = €0.77)

Paul Hodges studies key influences shaping the chemical industry in his Chemicals and the Economy Blog

By: Stefan Baumgarten
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