VCI report on the business situation of the German chemical industry in the 2nd quarter 2016

Chemical business without dynamics

Drop in chemical production by 1 percent ++ Chemical prices fall by 0.4 percent ++ Lower chemical industry sales (-1.6 percent) ++ Forecast for 2016: no lasting growth impulses discernible.

VCI in its report for the 2nd quarter 2016: “Chemical business in Germany is likely to remain without dynamics, also in the 2nd half 2016." © VCI
VCI in its report for the 2nd quarter 2016: “Chemical business in Germany is likely to remain without dynamics, also in the 2nd half 2016." © VCI

After a promising start in the year, business became less favourable in the 2nd quarter 2016 for the chemical-pharmaceutical industry, according to the latest quarterly report by the German chemical industry association Verband der Chemischen Industrie (VCI). Production, prices and sales in Germany’s third largest industry declined, as compared with the previous three months. Weaker industrial production in Germany adversely affected domestic chemical sales. The demand in Europe, where 70 percent of the industry’s foreign sales are achieved, dropped too. Other foreign markets did not make up for this, due to low dynamics of the global economy and the growth weakness of emerging nations.

VCI President Marijn Dekkers on the industry’s business situation: “Chemical business is likely to remain without dynamics, also in the 2nd half 2016. No lasting growth impulses are discernible, neither in Germany nor abroad. Moreover, there are uncertainties like the forthcoming exit of Great Britain from the European Union.”


For the year 2016 the VCI assumes an increase in chemical production by 0.5 percent. Producer prices are anticipated to fall by 2.0 percent, so that the industry’s sales are projected to drop by 1.5 percent to 185.9 billion euros.


In the 2nd quarter 2016, chemical production in Germany fell by 1 percent against the previous quarter and by 0.5 percent against the previous year. Capacity utilisation in the industry was only satisfactory at 84.1 percent.

Producer prices

In the course of the 2nd quarter, prices of chemical products recovered somewhat but still remained 0.4 percent below the level of the 1st quarter 2016. Producer prices were 2.7 percent lower than one year earlier.


Chemical sales fell for the fourth consecutive time. In the period under review, this impacted both domestic and foreign business. The respective drops in chemical industry sales amounted to 1.6 percent as compared with the previous quarter and 6.1 percent in comparison with the previous year.


From April to June 2016, the number of jobs fell slightly in the German chemical industry (-0.5 percent against the previous year). At present, the industry has 444,000 staff.

The full version of the VCI’s quarterly report 2/2016 (in German language) and an executve summary in English are available for download section of this page. Additionally, you will find there the two main charts of the report as jpg files in high resolution.

The VCI represents the politico-economic interests of over 1,650 German chemical companies and German subsidiaries of foreign businesses. For this purpose, the VCI is in contact with politicians, public authorities, other industries, science and media.The VCI stands for over 90 percent of the chemical industry in Germany. In 2015 the German chemical industry realised sales of around 189 billion euros and employed 446,000 staff.

Contact: VCI Press Dept., Phone: +49 69 2556-1496, E-Mail:

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Dipl.-Pol. Oliver Claas