VCI report on the business situation of the industry in the 3rd quarter 2018

Chemical industry continues to lose momentum

07. November 2018 | Pressemitteilung

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Production increase by 0.3 percent over the previous quarter ++ Rise in chemical prices by 1.1 percent ++ The industry’s sales climb by 1.7 percent ++ Outlook: ever stronger slowdown becomes visible in the economy.

VCI on the situation of the German chemical-pharmaceutical industry: The sector hardly grew in the 3rd quarter 2018. An ever stronger slowdown becomes visible in the German and European economy; demand for chemical products is getting weaker. - Cover: © VCI
VCI on the situation of the German chemical-pharmaceutical industry: The sector hardly grew in the 3rd quarter 2018. An ever stronger slowdown becomes visible in the German and European economy; demand for chemical products is getting weaker. - Cover: © VCI

The chemical-pharmaceutical industry hardly grew in the 3rd quarter 2018. When excluding the booming pharma production, Germany’s third largest industry even had to cut back on output – according to the most recent quarterly report published by the German chemical industry association VCI. The weakening situation of industry overall in Germany and Europe made itself felt in the various sectors of chemistry. Some major customer industries, e.g. carmakers and plastics processors, clearly reduced manufacture in the period under review. But with rising prices, sales increased in almost all chemical sectors so that most chemical companies remained satisfied with their current business. However, expectations for the future are becoming less favourable.






Hans Van Bylen - Photo:
Hans Van Bylen - Photo: © Henkel

VCI President Hans Van Bylen on the situation of the chemical-pharmaceutical industry: “An ever stronger slowdown becomes visible in the German and Euro-pean economy. Customer demand for chemical products is getting weaker. Increasing risks, such as the escalation of the trade dispute between the USA and China as well as the Brexit, are causing yet more uncertainty.”




Forecast

For the year 2018 as a whole, the VCI maintains its forecast of 3.5 percent growth in German chemical production. Prices of chemicals are anticipated to rise by 1.5 percent. This results in an improvement of the industry’s sales by 4.5 percent to 204 billion euros.

Production

In the 3rd quarter 2018, chemical production went up by 0.3 percent against the previous quarter and by 2.4 percent against the previous year. At just under 85 percent, capacity utilisation of chemical plants remained good from July to September 2018.

Producer prices

In the period under review, rising raw material costs brought an increase in producer prices by 1.1 percent compared with the previous three months. In a comparison with the previous year, the increase amounted to 2.6 percent.

Sales

The price development for chemical products led to higher sales for the industry also in the 3rd quarter 2018. Sales improved by 1.7 percent over the previous quarter and by 3.4 percent over the previous year. Foreign business grew stronger than domestic sales.

Employment

The 3rd quarter 2018 saw a rise in employment in the German chemical industry. At present, the industry has 459,700 staff; this is an increase by 1.5 percent over the previous year.


Please note:
The full version of the VCI’s latest quarterly report (VCI-Quartalsbericht 3/2018, in German language) is available in the download section at the top of this page ("Complementary Downloads"). Additonal material there: A photo of VCI president Hans Van Bylen in high resolution, executive summary of the report in English language as well as the two main charts of the report as jpg files in high resolution (chemical business indicators for the 3rd quarter 2018, production development in the German chemical industry without pharma from 2011 to the 3rd quarter 2018 by quarter).


The VCI represents the politico-economic interests of around 1,700 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 2017 the German chemical industry realised sales of more than 195 billion euros and employed around 453,000 staff.

Contact: VCI Press Dept., Phone: +49 69 2556-1496, E-Mail: presse@vci.de
http://twitter.com/chemieverband and http://facebook.com/chemieverbandVCI

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 Oliver Claas

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Dipl.-Pol. Oliver Claas

Konjunktur/Wirtschaft, Chemikaliensicherheit, Digitalisierung, Mittelstand