Europe chem production continues decline but is stabilising - analyst

21 June 2012 10:50  [Source: ICIS news]

ArkemaLONDON (ICIS)--Chemicals production in Europe continues to fall but the pace of the decline is stabilising, global analyst Bernstein Research said on Thursday.

Bernstein said chemicals production volumes in Europe have deteriorated over the past year, adding that volumes were flat month on month in April but declined by 4% year on year.

“Within Europe, there has been a significant divergence in volume growth trajectories since the crisis,” the analyst said.

It added that while the German, French, and Spanish chemical industries have all recovered to pre-crisis levels, the UK, Greek and Italian industries have all struggled.

“Nevertheless, all of these markets, with the exception of Spain, which was flat, experienced year on year production volume declines in April,” said Bernstein.

Meanwhile, Bernstein said production volumes in the US have continued to improve.

“In May, US chemicals sector volumes were roughly stable (down 0.2% month on month and up 3% year on year),” it added.

Turning to some of the major chemical companies in Europe, Bernstein said Netherlands-based producer AkzoNobel’s paints and coatings production volumes continued to grow in the US in May, up 0.5% month on month, with an 8% increase year on year.

“In contrast, [AkzoNobel's] European production volumes in April have nearly stabilised sequentially (-0.4% month on month) but have declined 7% year on year,” said the analyst.

Industrial gas companies Air Liquide and Linde’s European industrial gas production volumes were flat month on month in April, and up 2% year on year, while the US sector grew rapidly in May, up 1% month on month and 16% year on year.

Crop protection chemicals production volume growth for Swiss agochemical firm Syngenta and Germany-based specialty chemicals maker Bayer CropScience was roughly stable in Europe in April, but still increased by 4% year on year.

Plastics and petrochemicals volumes for Germany’s BASF and Bayer MaterialScience declined in both Europe and the US.

“Plastics production volumes were flat sequentially in Europe in April (+0.2 % month on month, -3% year on year) and down in the US in May (-2.1% month on month, -3% year on year),” said Bernstein.

By: Leigh Stringer
+44 208 652 3214

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