VCI report on the business situation of the German chemical industry in the 3rd quarter 2016

Chemical business remains weak

Drop in chemical production by 0.5 percent ++ Minor recovery of chemical prices (+0.5 percent) ++ Slight increase in chemical industry sales (+1.0 percent) ++ Forecast: no upturn in sight (production 2016: +0,5 percent; sales 2016: -3 percent).

VCI in its report on the 3rd quarter 2016: "It is deplorable that we are currently not getting much support from the political and economic environment, so that very little points to a lasting recovery of the chemical business in Germany." - Picture: © VCI
VCI in its report on the 3rd quarter 2016: "It is deplorable that we are currently not getting much support from the political and economic environment, so that very little points to a lasting recovery of the chemical business in Germany." - Picture: © VCI

The 3rd quarter 2016 saw varied trends in the business of the chemical-pharmaceutical industry in Germany, according to the latest quarterly report by the German chemical industry association Verband der Chemischen Industrie (VCI). The report shows that the production in Germany’s third largest industry dropped somewhat, as compared with the previous quarter. After 15 months of continuous decline, sales were back on the increase for the first time; this was attributable to rising chemical prices in consequence of the climbing oil price. Overall, several factors – e.g. the persistent growth weakness of emerging markets in Asia – slowed down the economic developments.

VCI President Kurt Bock on the industry’s business situation: “The economic indicators give a mixed picture for the companies of the German pharma and chemical industry. It is deplorable that we are currently not getting much support from the political and economic environment, so that very little points to a lasting recovery of the chemical business. The industry’s slight sales increase over the last quarter was mainly the result of positive impulses in foreign demand, while there was a minor drop in domestic sales in Germany.”

Forecast

For the year 2016 the VCI maintains its forecast of an increase in chemical production by 0.5 percent. But due to a clearly lower price level against the previous year, the industry’s sales are anticipated to drop by 3 percent to 183 billion euros.

Production

In the 3rd quarter 2016, chemical production dropped somewhat by 0.5 percent against the previous quarter and also by 0.5 percent against the previous year. From July to September, capacity utilisation in the industry was at 83.5 percent.

Producer prices

In the period under review, the prices of chemical products went up for the first time in nine months – rising by 0.5 percent against the previous quarter. But the price level was still 2.7 percent below that of the previous year.

Sales

Compared with the previous quarter, sales of the chemical-pharmaceutical industry increased by 1 percent to 43.5 billion euros. Sales were 2.5 percent lower than in the previous year. Growth impulses mainly came from foreign business.

Employment

In comparison with the previous quarter, employment figures were stable in the chemical industry. At present, the industry has 444,000 staff (0.5 percent less than one year ago).

Download

The full version of the VCI’s quarterly report 3/2016 (in German language) as well as an executive summary in English are available in the download section at the top of this page. Also available: the two main charts of the report (indicators, capacity utilization) 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: presse@vci.de

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Contacts

Dipl.-Pol. Oliver Claas

E-Mail: claas@vci.de