CEFIC Says Flat Output and Falling Prices Persist

27.11.2015 -

Stagnant petrochemicals output and declining prices continue to dominate the European chemical industry, according to figures in the latest CEFIC Chemical Trends report. For the first eight months of this year, chemical output edged up by just 0.3% on the same period in 2014, but prices were 4.5% lower.

Total EU chemical sales fell by 3% year on year for the period January to July 2015.

A sharp fall in net exports to Russia, one of the EU’s key chemicals trading partners, helped push the EU’s trade balance down to €5.2 billion for the first seven months of this year – €1.7 billion lower than the same period of 2014. EU exports to Russia fell by 14.6%, or €815 million.

The EU chemicals trade surplus with Asia (excluding China and Japan) rose by €481 million to just over €4.6 billion, however its surplus with China decreased by €618 million.

Meanwhile, industry confidence was slightly higher in the third quarter compared with the second quarter of this year. Although chemicals order books remain unchanged and capacity utilization has stabilized close to its long-term average, business expectations had improved, in particular with regard to employment.