EU chemical output edges up in first seven months of 2014
Chemical output showed a mostly flat trend for the January-July period as the losses witnessed in the last three months counterbalanced gains made during the first four months of the year. Production declined for the third time after posting increases for eight consecutive months. Although chemicals prices were lower, the value of sales during the January-July period remained unchanged. In the first half of 2014, European net export reached €22.5 billion, a small step back from last year’s all time record.
Petrochemicals output continued to decrease in the first seven months of the year, edging down 6.5% compared to the same period of 2013. This decrease was balanced by increases of 3.3% for specialty chemicals and 1.5% for consumer chemicals. Polymers production also grew 0.4% year over year.
In the second quarter, EU capacity utilization reached 80.6% from the rate of 81.2% posted in the first quarter of 2014. Capacity utilization in the EU chemical sector is still 4.5% below its post-crisis peak in the first quarter of 2011.
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