Europe chems industrial production grows in June on easing lockdown measures

Author: Morgan Condon

2020/08/12

LONDON (ICIS)--Chemicals manufacturing increased through the EU in June on the previous month as according to the latest data from the EU’s statistical agency Eurostat on Wednesday.

Production increased significantly in the chemicals sector, as lockdown measures continued to ease with activity picking up in other sectors supported demand for upstream materials.

Countries June 2020 May 2020 June 2019
Eurozone 2.9 -0.4 -0.4
Germany 1.6 -6.0 0.6
France 4.3 11.4 -0.9
Spain 7.9 3.3 -0.3
Italy 1.7 7.9 -2.7
EU 2.9 -0.2 -1.0
The Netherlands 1.9 -2.9 -3.0
Poland 4.4 5.3 -2.3

The graph shows the seasonally adjusted percentage change when compared to the previous month’s activity.

For many countries the rate of growth was slower than the previous month, but quarantine restrictions which were rolled out in late March/early April to contain the virus began to be lifted in May, accounting for rapid growth then.

For both the 27-country EU and the 19-country single-currency eurozone June presented the first month of growth for industrial production, with increased activity across manufacturing.

This was reflected in the 9.1% uptick in overall industrial production in both the EU and eurozone for June compared to the previous month.

The effects of the pandemic are still prevalent on the year’s activity as industrial production went down 12.3% in the eurozone and 11.6% in the EU compared to June 2019.

The consistent return of productivity rules out the prospect of a V-shaped recovery, according to analysts at Oxford Economics.

“We expect this trend to continue, albeit the recovery is now likely to go on at a softer pace. Following the mechanical bounce from the low post-lockdown levels, the industry will have to deal with weak external demand, continuous disruptions to the supply chains caused by some lingering containment measures and low capacity utilization due to health and safety concerns,” said Oxford Economics.

“As a relatively hard-hit sector, the industrial sector will likely require further fiscal support. We note that encouragingly in Germany, the combination of released pent-up demand and fiscal stimulus so far has been boding well for the automotive sector, with new car registrations strongly recovering in June and continuing into July.”