When excluding the booming pharma production, Germany’s third largest industry had to cut back on output, according to the quarterly report published by the German chemical industry association VCI. VCI President, Hans Van Bylen, said: “An ever stronger slowdown becomes visible in the German and European economy. Customer demand for chemical products is getting weaker. Increasing risks, such as the escalation of the trade dispute between the USA and China as well as the Brexit, are causing yet more uncertainty.”
Some major customer industries, e.g., carmakers and plastics processors, clearly reduced manufacture. However, with rising prices, sales increased in almost all chemical sectors. Therefore, most chemical companies remained satisfied with their current business. For the year 2018 as a whole, the VCI maintains its forecast of 3.5 % growth in German chemical production. Prices of chemicals are expected to rise by 1.5 %. This results in an improvement of the industry’s sales by 4.5 % to 204 billion euros.
In the 3rd quarter of 2018, chemical production went up by 0.3 % against the previous quarter and by 2.4 % against the previous year. Rising raw material costs brought an increase in producer prices by 1.1 % compared with the previous quarter and by 2.6 % in comparison with the previous year.
- Verband der Chemischen Industrie (VCI; German chemical industry association), Frankfurt, Germany