CEFIC Sees Modest Growth for 2019
The European Chemical Industry Council, CEFIC, is forecasting modest growth of around 0.5% in 2019, compared to 2018.
Marco Mensink, director general of the association representing chemical producers, said CEFIC remains “cautiously optimistic” about the prospects for business in 2019. “The forecast 1.5% growth of manufacturing industries should be sufficient to keep demand for chemicals at the same or higher level,” he said.
While the association said it expects the industry can recover from the decline in demand from the automotive industry seen in 2018, it sees its 2019 performance as being potentially impacted by trade tensions between the US, China and Europe, as well as the uncertainty surrounding Brexit.
CEFIC notes that investors and customer industries are becoming more cautious in the currently volatile environment; however, demand from the key customer industries - automotive, agricultural and construction – is predicted to increase slightly next year.
Figures for 2018 show a 0.5% decline in chemical production against 2017, reflecting higher oil prices, lower demand from the automotive sector and unusually low water levels in European rivers, which has caused transportation delays.
Over the long term, CEFIC says, the EU chemical industry expects stable growth fueled by increasing demand in sustainable solutions and technologies developed by the industry, as Europe moves closer to a lower-carbon and more circular economy.