In May last year, the blog was hopeful that the major decline in Russian chemical production might start to reverse. And recent ACC regional production figures have indeed shown a welcome improvement in Central and Eastern European output, which was badly hit by the 2008-9 collapse.
Once again, the blog is grateful to Sergei Blagov of ICIS news for the data in the above chart, and further insight into some key areas:
• Polymers (red line) has been the best performer, as domestic demand has risen along with the economy. Growth was up 5% overall last year.
• In January-May this year, production improved further. Polyethylene was up 20% versus 2009, whilst polypropylene was up 12%, PVC was up 18% and polystyrene up 16%
• Fertiliser production (blue), however, fell further to 13.4 million tonnes in 2009. It was down 12% after a 6% decline in 2008.
• Fibre output (green) was also down 18%, after a 24% fall in 2008.