Good Year for the German Chemical Industry

Good Year for the German Chemical Industry


2017 was a good year for the German chemical-pharmaceutical industry and also internationally. China showed a robust demand, the US economy was livelier, and the economies of emerging markets stabilized. The American Chemistry Council (ACC) expects an increase of the global chemical production by 2.7 % in 2017 [1]. In Germany, production increased by 2.5 % and sales improved by 5.5 % according to the German chemical industry association Verband der Chemischen Industrie (VCI) who held its annual press conference on December 6. With 451,500 staff the highest level of employment for 13 years is seen. The VCI’s forecast for 2018 expects a production plus of 2 % and a sales plus of 3 %.

Regarding the problems in the difficult government formation in Berlin, VCI President Kurt Bock sees cross-party consensus when it comes to strengthening education, research, and innovation. However, he warns against political concepts that bring further increases in electricity prices and put at risk the security of supplies. Therefore, the VCI opposes a national CO2 tax or an overly hasty end of coal-based electricity.

The German chemical-pharmaceutical industry closely monitors the Brexit negotiations between Brussels and London. In 2016, the German industry sold products worth nearly 12 billion euros to the UK (6.7 % of German chemical exports). Specialty chemicals and pharmaceuticals made up the largest share. In 2016, German chemical companies imported goods for more than 6.4 billion euros (5.2 %). These mainly included pharmaceuticals and petrochemicals. The VCI, therefore, emphasizes that the need for the largest possible degree of mutual recognition and the same standards. For this, the UK should in their opinion be linked as closely as possible to the EU by way of a comprehensive agreement.

  • Verband der Chemischen Industrie e. V. (VCI; German chemical industry association), Frankfurt, Germany

[1] Global chemistry production grows during October – ACC, ICIS News 4 December 2017


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