UpdateEU passenger car registrations down in May from April

18 June 2013 11:31  [Source: ICIS news]

(Adds investment bank comment throughout)

LONDON (ICIS)--EU passenger car registrations fell in May, ending a short-lived rise reported in April, an industry body said on Tuesday.

According to data from the European Automobile Manufacturers’ Association (ACEA), demand for new passenger cars in May declined by 5.9% year on year, reaching 1,042,742 units.

The ACEA said in absolute figures this is the lowest level recorded for the month of May since 1993, when new registrations stood below 1m.

The reported fall follows a 1.7% year-on-year increase for EU passenger car registrations in April 2013, which represented a rise for the first time since September 2011.

“In May, most major markets faced a downturn ranging from -2.6% in Spain to -8.0% in Italy, -9.9% in Germany and -10.4% in France,” the ACEA said.

“The UK was the only country to post growth (+11.0%). Overall, the EU registered 1,042,742 new cars – or 5.9% less than in the same period last year,” it added.

During the first five months into the year, new car registrations amounted to 5,070,840 units, down by 6.8% compared with the same period last year.

“From January to May, Spain and Germany saw their market shrink by 5.8% and 8.8% respectively, while Italy (-11.3%) and France (-11.9%) recorded a double-digit decline. The UK continued its positive trend, expanding,” the ACEA said.

Prague-based investment bank WOOD & Company said that although the European tyre market is driven predominantly by replacement tyre sales, the declining car registration figures reflected poorly on European economic sentiment and tyre demand in the coming months.

A wide variety of chemical markets depend on demand from the automotive industry, which has suffered badly from the effects of the global economic crisis.

However, despite the disappointing figures WOOD & Company was optimistic that next year could bring a recovery in the emulsion styrene butadiene rubber (ESBR) market for producers such as Poland's Synthos.

“While May's registration data, coupled with easing ESBR prices, provide no support for Synthos's stock price, we continue to see rebound potential in the ESBR market in 2014, stemming from the fundamentally tight global butadiene [BD] market under a normalised end-product demand scenario,” said Piotr Drozd, a chemical industry analyst at the bank.


By: Will Conroy
+44 20 8652 3214



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