European chemicals output will grow by 2.0 per cent this year

European chemicals output to grow by 2.0 per cent this year, says Cefic

6:54 AM, 23rd June 2014
European Chemical Industry Council

BRUSSELS, BELGIUM: According to Cefic, the European Chemical Industry Council, the European chemicals output will grow by 2.0 per cent this year, driven by rising demand from customer industries, particularly car-makers, and some stabilisation in the construction industry.

Production growth is expected to continue in 2015, though the pace is likely to slow to 1.5 per cent as restocking tails off. The return to growth follows a modest fall in output during 2013 as the industry wrestled with the second slowdown of Europe’s double-dip recession. After a 22 per cent slump by more than 20 per cent, Europe’s production of chemicals has yet to match the peak achieved in 2008.

In its bi-annual industry forecast, Cefic said that chemical industry output contracted by 0.2 per cent in 2013, slightly less than the 0.5 per cent expected. The outlook for 2014 has also improved: growth in 2014 is now expected to reach 2.0 per cent, excluding pharmaceuticals. Looking at the wider economy, European confidence indicators are positive, and purchasing managers’ expectations suggest that Europe’s industrial recovery is broadening out.

“We now expect a long-awaited return to growth in output by the European chemical industry this year. However, the recovery is volatile and the pace of expansion is being held back by high energy prices, which put European producers at a severe disadvantage compared to those in North America and the Middle East who benefit in particular from cheaper gas,” said Kurt Bock, President, Cefic.

 

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