Germany chem industry maintains 2013 output growth forecast at 1.5%

07 March 2013 14:28  [Source: ICIS news]

LONDON (ICIS)--Germany’s chemicals producers trade group VCI is maintaining its 2013 forecast of 1.5% growth in the country’s chemical production as industry confidence is improving on increased domestic and export demand, it said in an update on Thursday.

Chemical prices are expected to rise by 0.5% this year. Sales are projected to rise by 2.0% year on year to €190bn ($247bn) in 2013.

However, the eurozone debt crisis would continue to slow growth in some European countries, even though many of the affected countries seem to be stabilising, the trade group said.

“The chemical and pharmaceuticals industry is working on the assumption that the positive economic drivers will continue to prevail,” said VCI general manager Utz Tillmann.

Growth would be driven by higher demand from outside Europe, Tillmann said. However, the industry’s domestic business was also developing positively so far this year, he added.

VCI reported that for the 2012 fourth quarter Germany’s chemicals industry production rose 0.8% from the third quarter. Compared with the 2011 fourth quarter, production was up 0.4% year on year. All sectors of the chemicals industry showed production growth, with the exception of specialty chemicals.

Full-year 2012 chemicals production was down 3.1% from 2011 - slightly higher than the 3.0% decline VCI had projected. Excluding pharmaceuticals, full-year production was down 3.6% from 2011.

Chemicals prices rose 0.6% in the 2012 fourth quarter, from the third, and were up 2.0% year on year from the 2011 fourth quarter.

Chemicals industry sales rose 1.8% to €43.2bn in the fourth quarter from the third and were up 3.8% year on year from the 2011 fourth quarter, with the growth led by increased demand from abroad, VCI said.

Industry capacity utilisation was 82.0% in the fourth quarter, compared with 82.8% the third quarter.

The industry employed 437,000 workers in the 2012 fourth quarter, up 2.0% from the same period a year ago.

($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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