05 June 2012 11:39 [Source: ICIS news]
LONDON (ICIS)--EU chemicals production fell by 2.0% year on year in the first quarter while output in March declined by 1.8%, European industry body Cefic said on Tuesday.
The figures for March showed EU chemicals production for the month was 4.4% below the 2007 peak, with falls in all sectors except for consumer chemicals.
Specialty chemicals production fell by 6.5% year on year while petrochemicals output was down by 4.9%, Cefic said in its latest Chemical Trends Report.
Plastics production declined by 4.3% while consumer chemicals increased by 3.6% year on year.
The EU’s chemicals trade net trade surplus improved year on year through the first two months of 2012 by €800m ($1bn), reaching €7.9bn, Cefic said.
“The latest data confirm that first quarter 2012 production was negative, but improved compared with fourth quarter of last year,” said Cefic’s chief economist Moncef Hadhri.
“A slowdown in EU chemicals production during these two quarters is in-line with sluggish EU industrial activity,” Hadhri added.
Chemicals prices rose by 4.1% year on year in March, Cefic said, driven by basic organics which increased by 4.9%.
Petrochemicals were up by 4.4% while pharmaceuticals prices edged down by 0.7% year on year.
($1 = €0.80)
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