During the first three months 2012, chemical production in Germany again increased by 1.5 % as compared with the previous quarter. According to the association Verband der Chemischen Industrie (VCI) in its most recent quarterly report, this was reflected in the better capacity utilization of chemical plants. However, the production level still remained 4 % lower than in the 1st quarter 2011.
The return of more dynamic trends in chemical business – with rising sales – mainly relied on orders from domestic customers. But foreign sales by chemical companies improved too. In particular, the demand from the emerging economies in Asia and from the USA became more vibrant.
For the overall year 2012, the VCI continues to expect a stagnation of chemical production. With a price increase by 1 %, the VCI is forecasting total chemical industry sales to rise also by 1 % to 186 billion euros. Dr. Klaus Engel, VCI president, warns that the debt crisis is not yet overcome and stifles economic developments in the EU, and consequently, the recovery of what is by far our most important export market.
As compared with the 4th quarter 2011, chemical sales increased by 3.5 % to 43.1 billion euros. In the same comparison of quarters, domestic sales improved by 5 % and foreign sales rose by 2.5 % in the period under review.
In early 2012 employment further increased in German chemical companies, with a rise by 2 % against the previous year to ca. 437,000 staff in the chemical industry as a whole.
Image: Chemical Production in Germany © VCI
Index 2005 = 100, seasonally adjusted, changes to previous year in %
- Verband der Chemischen Industrie e. V. (VCI; German chemical industry association)