Germany chems slash 2012 production forecast, see 3% decline

05 September 2012 14:30  [Source: ICIS news]

LONDON (ICIS)--Germany’s chemical producers' association VCI cut its 2012 forecast for the country’s chemical production, predicting a 3% year-on-year decline as eurozone weakness is affecting the domestic chemical business, it said on Wednesday.

Up till now, Frankfurt-based Verband der Chemischen Industrie (VCI) had forecast zero growth in production this year.

“We will have to defer our hopes for a stable recovery in the chemical business, for the time being,” VCI president Klaus Engel said. Engel is also CEO of Germany-based specialty chemicals major Evonik.

“The EU debt crisis is now also affecting our domestic business,” Engel said.

“Many of our industrial customers are reducing production and order fewer chemicals,” he said.

VCI's revision of its 2012 full-year projection for production came after a weak second quarter.

The country’s second-quarter chemicals production was down 2.8% from the first, with producers of basic chemicals recording the sharpest declines, the group said. Compared with the 2011 second quarter, production was down 6.7% year on year.

However, chemical producer prices continued to increase in the second quarter. Prices were up 1.4% from the first quarter, and up 2.5% year on year from the 2011 second quarter.

Germany’s second-quarter chemical sales were down 0.5% from the first quarter, to €45.2bn ($56.5bn). Compared with the 2011 second quarter, sales were up 1.3% year on year.

Second-quarter domestic chemical sales were down 4.1% from the first quarter and down 2.4% year on year from the 2011 second quarter.

Export sales were up 1.0% from the first quarter, and up 3.7% year on year from the 2011 second quarter. Sales to South America and China offset declining demand in southern Europe, the group said.

($1 = €0.80)

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

By: Stefan Baumgarten
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