German Chemical Business Sees Moderate Growth

Growth in the German chemical-pharmaceutical industry continued moderate in the second quarter, the industry association Verband der Chemischen Industrie (VCI) said in its quarterly report.

Thanks to the strong pharmaceutical sector, overall production rose 1.6% against the first quarter and sales made gains on foreign trading. In particular with the US, growth was “vigorous,” with exports benefiting from the weaker euro. Sales also expanded in Europe, the industry’s major export market. Chemical prices remained stable.

“At present, the upward trend mainly relies on pharmaceuticals,” said VCI president, Marijn Dekkers, who is also CEO of Bayer. “In the overall picture,” he said, “we are expecting slight growth for the second half 2015. The weak euro benefits exports, and low oil prices positively impact the chemical business, too.” On a less positive note, “the economic situation is becoming less dynamic in China, the largest chemical market worldwide,” the VCI president noted.

For full year 2015, the industry association forecasts a decline in producer selling prices by about 2.5%, with industry-wide sales rising by 1% to €192.7 billion.

Looking back at figures for the second quarter, VCI’s report said chemical output rose by 3.4% against the 2014 quarter with capacity utilization in the industry at around 83.5%. Although climbing 0.9% against the preceding three months – the first gains in three quarters – selling prices still remained 2.6% below the second quarter of 2014.

After falling in the first quarter, industry-wide sales improved again in the second three-month period, rising by 0.4% quarter-on-quarter and 2.3% year-on-year, driven by strong foreign business.

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