VCI quarterly report on the business situation of the German chemical-pharmaceutical industry
Major sales increase in the 2nd quarter 2017
Once again high, above-average capacity utilisation ++ Chemical prices rose for the fourth consecutive time ++ The industry’s sales increased by 1.6 percent ++ Forecast: Good business lasts.
Overall, the chemical-pharmaceutical industry can look back on a positive 2nd quarter 2017, according to the latest quarterly report by the German chemical industry association Verband der Chemischen Industrie e. V. (VCI). Sales in Germany’s third largest industry increased considerably, mainly thanks to rising prices. At 86.9 percent, there was a high, above-average capacity utilisation of chemical plants for the second time in a row. Domestic business developed positively, inter alia, because of the good situation of the building industry. Foreign sales were even more dynamic. Especially in Europe – the industry’s most important market – the demand for chemicals and pharmaceuticals “made in Germany” remained strong. The demand from Asia, too, grew significantly in the period under review.
VCI President Kurt Bock on the economic situation of the chemical and pharma industry in Germany: “Chances are good for favourable business of German chemical and pharmaceutical companies also in the 2nd half 2017. The situation is becoming more friendly in Europe: Industry is on the upswing, resulting in a higher demand for chemicals. The upswing trend continues also in Germany.“
The VCI maintains its forecast of a chemical production increase by 1.5 percent in the year 2017. With chemical prices climbing considerably by 3.5 percent, the industry’s sales can rise by 5.0 percent to 193.9 billion euros.
In the 2nd quarter 2017, chemical production fell by 1.5 percent against the previous three months. That was due to a setback in pharma business in Germany and in the USA. Excluding pharma, there was production growth in the quarterly comparison. Production increased across all sectors by 1.6 percent against the previous year.
In the period under review, the prices for chemical products went up for the 4th consecutive time. They rose by 0.9 percent compared with the previous quarter and by 4.1 percent in the annual comparison.
Chemical industry sales were once more on the up in the 2nd quarter 2017. In a comparison with the previous quarter, they climbed by 1.6 percent to 46.9 billion euros. There was an increase by 7.1 percent against the previous year. Business improved both at home and abroad.
In the 2nd quarter 2017, the number of jobs in the industry remained constant at a high level, compared with the previous quarter. At present, the industry has 449,300 staff, reflecting an increase by 0.5 percent over the previous year.
The full version of the VCI’s latest quarterly report (VCI-Quartalsbericht 1/2017, in German language) is available in the download section at the top of this page. Additonally, you will also find there an executive summary of the report in English language and the two main charts of the report as jpg files in high resolution (indicators for 2nd quarter, capacity utilization 2013 to 2017 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 2016 the German chemical industry realised sales of around 185 billion euros and employed over 447,000 staff.