France chemical production to grow 0.6% in 2013 – group

21 March 2013 13:34  [Source: ICIS news]

LONDON (ICIS)--France’s chemical industry production is expected to rebound moderately in 2013, growing by about 0.6% year on year from 2012, a trade group said on Thursday.

French chemical producers would benefit from a gradual strengthening in the global economy, with growth mainly coming from emerging economies, Union des industries chimiques (UIC) said.

However, growth rates would remain relatively weak throughout the year as a recovery of the French and European economies was expected only towards the end of 2013, UIC said.

In 2012, French chemical industry production volumes were down 0.5% year on year, following 5.6% growth in 2011 and 8.9% growth in 2010.

The group also warned of the relatively high energy costs France-based chemical producers are facing, compared with the US where producers benefit from low energy and feedstock costs because of shale gas production.

If the French government fails to urgently implement policies to lower energy costs, France's chemical industry could be at a permanent disadvantage against major competitors, UIC chairman Philippe Goebel said.

France’s government under president Francois Hollande is reluctant to develop the country’ shale gas reserves because the environmental risks of hydraulic fracturing (fracking), the technology used in exploring and producing shale gas.

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

By: Stefan Baumgarten
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