Last week's global production numbers highlighted the startling collapse in output from Central & Eastern Europe. This was the worst regional performer in Q1, and the blog decided to investigate further.
Russian output is key to the region's performance. And the chart, based on data kindly provided by ICIS's Sergei Blagov, shows how all parts of the Russian industry have been impacted over the past 18 months:
• Fertiliser output fell 25% to 4.6m tonnes in Jan-April, after a 6% fall in 2008
• Polymers fell 13% to 1.3m tonnes, after a 4% fall in 2008
• Synthetic rubber fell 31% to 250KT, after a 6% fall in 2008
The Russian stock market has recently been the best performer in the world, up 90% since 1 March, as oil prices have risen. This return of confidence, plus the end of destocking, should hopefully lead to a relatively stronger performance for the region in future months.