US Now Top Market for German Chemicals

07.10.2015 -

The United States has become the most important export market for the German chemical industry, displacing The Netherlands says the producers’ association Verband der Chemischen Industrie (VCI).

Based on 2014 figures, VCI reports that 10% of all exports of German chemical and pharmaceutical products (valued at worth €16.5 billion) went to the US, compared with €14.8 billion that went to The Netherlands. On the whole, 60% of the German companies’ €190 billion total annual sales transactions were with customers abroad, the association adds.

While it could be argued that the Dutch market is technically not an export market for the German industry, as it is part of the European single market – and some of the trade also includes transfers of process chemicals to and from facilities based in both countries – the importance of the US as a trading partner is clearly growing.

In stressing this fact, VCI general manager Utz Tillmann forecast once again that the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership being negotiated with the US could push business a notch higher.

As a location for production, the US – followed by China – has been top ranking for some time, VCI notes. Based on 2013 figures, the 130 American subsidiaries of German companies reported revenues of €52 billion at prevailing exchange rates. Revenues of German companies based in China came in at €16 billion. All of Asia, including China was worth three-quarters of the US sales volume that year, the association adds.

The US is also a major source of chemical imports, according to VCI. In 2014, Germany imported chemical products worth €11 billion from the US, with only the classic European chemical producing countries The Netherlands, Belgium and Switzerland ahead of it.