Chem executives less satisfied with conditions in Germany

31 May 2013 17:10  [Source: ICIS news]

LONDON (ICIS)--Executives in Germany’s chemical industry have become markedly less satisfied with the country as a site for chemical production, according to a survey of more than 300 executives released on Friday.

Almost three quarters of survey respondents cited high energy costs as the biggest disadvantage for chemical production in Europe’s largest economy, consultancy Camelot said, citing results from its recent survey.

Furthermore, even though chemical producers expect further increases in sales and profits, many firms are considering cost cutting measures, and 20% of firms are planning job cuts, Camelot said.

"The high energy costs, compared with other countries, are a big worry for managers in Germany’s chemicals industry, and have become an increasing burden for chemical production," said Camelot managing partner Josef Packowski.

On the positive side, Germany offered qualified workers, strong research and development, and good infrastructure, Packowski said.

"However, emerging economies are steadily catching up in those areas," he added.

Many respondents said that the high energy cost offered a competitive opportunity for the industry - in the form of "Green Chemistry" - through the development of sustainable and innovative products and processes.

However, in the near term, the industry would continue to rely on oil and gas as its basic raw materials.

Only one out of five respondents said that oil and gas would lose in importance and be replaced by alternative raw materials in the coming ten years, according to the survey.

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

By: Stefan Baumgarten
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