EU chemical production remains subdued in January: Cefic
The region’s petrochemical output decreased 7.6% in January compared with the same month of the previous year. Output for specialty chemicals increased 4.2%, providing one of brighter notes from the report. Production for basic inorganics declined 1.2% from a year earlier while polymers and consumer chemicals output declined 0.6% and 0.2%, respectively in January.
For the full year of 2014, chemical production in the EU posted a slight increase of 0.2% on the year while sales slipped 1.1% compared to 2013. Cefic attributed subdued growth to falling exports, which helped offset the effect of plunging oil prices and lower producer costs.
According to the data, the EU’s net trade surplus declined to €44.1 billion ($46.68 billion) in 2014, down from €48.2 billion ($51 billion) in 2013. Net exports slumped 51% on the year while imports increased 12.5% in 2014. The region’s trade surplus with Asia– excluding Japan and China – increased by €544 million while net chemicals trade surplus with China and US contracted to €671 million ($710.5 million) and to €5.4 billion ($5.71 billion), respectively, in 2014.
Meanwhile, Cefic also reported that an EU chemical industry confidence indicator (CCI) declined in the first quarter of 2015 due to a decreased number of expectations for higher order books and production.
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