Germany to put even more focus on specialty chemicals – VCI study

07 March 2013 17:08  [Source: ICIS news]

LONDON (ICIS)--Germany's chemical industry will continue to increase its reliance on specialty chemicals while reducing production of energy-intensive basic chemicals, the country’s chemical producers’ trade group VCI said on Thursday, citing a study.

VCI said that specialty chemicals' share in overall German chemical production would rise to 46.6% by 2030, up from 43.3% in 2011.

Meanwhile, the share of basic chemical production would fall to 33.9% by 2030, from 37.2% in 2011, the group said, citing results of a study it conducted in cooperation with research firm Prognos.

VCI general manager Utz Tillmann said that Germany’s chemical industry would continue to advance its “knowledge-lead” in specialty chemicals, given that the country was poor in natural resources but strong in research.

The trend is driven by increased “chemical-intensity” in the car and other manufacturing sectors, which boosts demand for high-value research-based specialty chemicals in industrial as well as emerging countries, he said.

However, Germany’s chemical producers would need to continue investing in research and development (R&D) to keep their competitive edge in specialty chemicals, he added.

The country’s chemical industry is spending about €9bn/year ($12bn/year) on R&D, but that could double to €18bn/year by 2030, Tillmann said.

With a focus on specialty chemicals, and the “right” industrial policy conditions, Germany’s chemical production could grow 40% by 2030, Tillmann said.

Nevertheless, Germany’s chemical production growth would lag behind global chemical growth in coming years. By 2030, Germany is expected to rank as the world’s fifth largest chemical producer – behind China, the US, Japan and India, Tillmann said.

Earlier on Thursday, VCI reaffirmed its projection of 1.5% year-on-year growth in Germany’s chemical production in 2013. The growth would come after a 3.1% year-on-year decline in 2012 from 2011.

($1 =  €0.77)

By: Stefan Baumgarten
+1 713 525 2653

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