02 July 2013 12:26 [Source: ICIS news]
LONDON (ICIS)--A steep fall in petrochemical and polymer output helped push EU chemicals production down by 3.9% year on year in April, trade group Cefic said on Tuesday.
EU petrochemical production dropped by 11.3%, with polymer production down by 5.9%.
EU data also shows that petrochemical and plastics prices were 2.9% and 1.1% lower in April compared to April 2012, it said.
Chemical sales were 3.4% lower in the first quarter year on year and remained 2.0% below the peak reached in the third quarter of 2008.
The EU chemical industry confiidence indicator, generated by Cefic, remained poor and unchanged month on month in May.
“Production expectations for the months ahead deteriorated somewhat in the May [confidence indicator] compared to the month prior, while current overall order books improved slightly. Chemicals industry confidence remains below the long-term average,” it said.
EU chemicals production in the first four months of the year was down by 2.5% year on year.
The data shows that the EU chemicals net trade surplus was €13bn ($17bn) in the first quarter, with the positive trade balance with non-EU Europe €500m higher at €3.9bn.
“The EU [chemicals] net trade surplus with China grew to €0.3bn in January-March 2013 from €0.2bn in the same period the previous year,” Cefic said.
($1 = €0.77)
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