FY 2012 Slightly Better than Cefic Forecast

05.03.2013 -

EU chemicals production contracted by 1.5% in 2012 compared with 2011, according to the latest Cefic Chemicals Trends Report. The full-year figure was slightly better than the 2.0% decline Cefic had predicted in its December 2012 forecast, due to above-zero output growth in the fourth quarter. Monthly data for December 2012 show a 1.2%% increase compared with the same month in 2011. EU chemicals production levels remain, however, 6.2%t below the 2007 peak.

Trade data available through November 2012 show a €45.9 billion EU chemicals net trade surplus, €9.4 billion beyond the level seen during the same period the year prior. EU chemicals prices in December climbed by 3.0 % compared with the same period the year prior.

The full-year overall price level for chemicals rose by 2.7% compared with 2011. Overall chemicals industry confidence indicators deteriorated slightly in January, mainly due to lower order-book assessments.

December output edges up

The EU chemicals production index for December was up 1.2% compared with December the year prior. It marked the third consecutive month of above-zero index readings. Petrochemicals jumped 3.4% year-on-year in December. Consumer chemicals and polymers output rose by 2.6 and 2.4% respectively in December compared with the year prior. Basic inorganics production fell in December by 2% year on year.

Specialty chemicals output was down slightly, shrinking 0.2% during the month as compared with the previous year 2012 prices climb by 2.7%, December monthly prices up 3.0%

Prices for EU chemicals were 2.7%higher during 2012 compared with the previous year. Prices for petrochemicals and consumer chemicals rose on a year-on-year basis in 2012 by 1.4 and 1.3% respectively. Basic inorganics registered in 2012 the highest price increase compared to 2011, up 3.2%.Year-on-year EU chemicals prices rose in December by 3.0% compared to the same month the year prior.

EU trade surplus expands further in November

Trade data available through November show a €45.9 billion year-to-date EU chemicals net trade surplus with other markets, up €9.4 billion compared with same 11-month period the year prior. The EU net trade surplus with the NAFTA region contributed significantly to the jump in the January-to-November overall surplus, reaching €10.7 billion, 27% higher than in January-November 2011. The EU net trade surplus with non-EU Europe, which includes Russia and Turkey, reached €14.4 billion during the 11-month period, up €2.9 billion compared with the same period the previous year. A slight downtick occurred in the trade surplus with Asia, excluding Japan and China, edging up by €0.4 billion to €4.6 billion.

January-to-November EU sales surpass 2008 pre-crisis period EU chemicals sales during the first eleven months of 2012 were 4.7% higher than the pre-crisis, full-year peak level reached in 2008. November sales were 2.7% higher compared with November the year prior. Sales for the first-eleven months of 2012 were 1.0% below the comparable period in 2011.

EU chemicals confidence indicator weakens in January

The EU chemical industry confidence indicator (CCI) remained low in January. The CCI, generated by Cefic, showed a slight decline compared with the month prior. Based on data from the European Commission business and consumer survey report published in January, CCI underlying data point to worsening in assessment of order-book levels relating to the EU sector.