LONDON (ICIS)--Growth in the German chemicals industry continued to slow in the third quarter, despite a return to positive figures after a disappointing second quarter, the country's chemicals trade group VCI said on Wednesday.
From July to September, sales of chemicals rose by 1.7%, compared to the second quarter, when sales had fallen by 0.1%.
However, the increase was attributed to a 1.1% rise in selling prices, rather than higher sales volumes.
The quarter-on-quarter rise in prices was once again a result of rising raw material costs.
Chemical production during the third quarter, meanwhile, was up 0.3% quarter on quarter, with capacity utilisation remaining strong at 85%.
“An ever stronger slowdown becomes visible in the German and European economy,” said VCI president Hans van Bylen on the situation of the chemicals and pharmaceuticals industries.
“Customer demand for chemical products is getting weaker. Increasing risks, such as the escalation of the trade dispute between the US and China, as well as Brexit, are causing yet more uncertainty,” he added.
Despite the continued slowdown in growth, VCI maintained its forecast of a 3.5% growth in chemical production in 2018, a 1.5% rise in chemical prices and a 4.5% growth in sales to €204bn.
According to statistics released by Germany’s central bank the Bundesbank on Tuesday, the index for chemical-pharmaceuticals output index fell to 108.0 points in September, from 108.4 points in August.
Pictured: Chemical laboratory at the
disused ironworks Henrichshuette, industrial
museum, in Hattingen, Germany