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Published on : Oct 21, 2014

The recently published report by European Chemical Industry Council (Cefic) shows overall chemical production in Europe has flatlined in first seven months of this year. Though the initial four months showed a positive trend, the production volumes dropped in July 2014 and in the following months as well. The contraction in output in the three consecutive months has nullified the upward trend of the first four months. Although the product prices were low, the sales in these seven months were largely unchanged. EU chemicals’ actual exports reached a figure of EUR 22.5 billion in the first half 2014, dropping from what was measured exactly a year ago. Sadly, the end of July recorded just a one percent hike above the peak recorded six years ago, back in 2008.

The only sub-segments to have escaped this decline were specialty chemicals and consumer chemicals. The production output from remained subsectors was definitely lower in July 2014 as compared to the same period last year. The year-on-year output for petrochemicals dropped by 6.5% during the first seven months of 2014. This decline was marginally offset by 3.3% growth for specialty chemicals and a minor growth of 1.5% in the consumer chemicals segment. In case of polymers, the growth was recorded at 0.4% as compared to last year, while basic inorganics indicated an uptick of 0.2% year-on-year.

Director General of Cefic, Hubert Mandery stated, in order to deal with these tough headwinds and dive back into the global competition with regions such as Middle East and US, European policy makers must prioritize energy policies of the region in order.