The outlook of the European chemicals industry continues to remain dull. According to Cefic’s report, the European chemicals industry registered a very poor 0.3% growth in output in the first quarter of 2015 as compared to the same quarter a year earlier. Year-on-year prices showed a 6.0% downslide, the European Chemical Industry Council said. These findings are discussed in the Cefic Chemicals Trends Report, which also paints a rather concerning picture about chemicals sales in Europe. The findings reveal a 5.2% dip in sales year-on-year in 2015’s first quarter.
However, there’s some consolation in the fact that monthly data published recently shows a 0.7% rise in the April 2015 output as compared to the same month in 2014. A month later, in May 2015, the report projects an increase in confidence in the chemicals industry. The report forecasts this gradual upward trend to continue in the months ahead
The net trade surplus in the European Union narrowed considerably, reaching Euro 9.9 billion in 2015’s first quarter, marking a dip of Euro 1.3 billion compared to the same period a year earlier.
The director general of Cefic, Hubert Mandery, said that the figures conveyed a lack of real economic growth in the European region, and also that the policymakers in the EU region would need to become more committed to driving job growth as well as competitiveness in the global arena
The output of the petrochemicals sector continued to show a downslide whereas that of specialty chemicals showed a marginal increase. Consumer chemicals as well as basic inorganics both showed a moderate uptick during the first four months of 2015
On the bright side, the output of chemicals showed a 1.6% increment over the period between January and April 2015 against the four-month period between September and December 2014. This growth was seen to follow the overall positive trendline in the European manufacturing sector in the first quarter of 2015.