EUROPE: Cefic anticipates production to stabilize for EU chemical sector during 2020
Cefic, the European Chemical Industry Council, expects chemical production in the European Union (EU) to have declined by 1 % in 2019 compared to 2018. For 2020, chemical production is expected to stay on the same level as 2019.
The chemicals business climate has been affected in 2019 by slower global economic growth, political uncertainty around Brexit and ongoing trade conflicts. Demand for chemicals was also lower in 2019 than in 2018 as several chemical buyer industries (automotive and electrical appliances) "significantly" reduced their output in 2019, Cefic explained. The construction industry has posted stable growth of 2.5 %, as it benefits from low interest rates and high demand in infrastructure investments. Growth is expected to continue in 2020.
"Despite slightly weaker growth forecasts, Europe remains the second largest chemicals producer in the world," said Rene van Sloten, executive director of industrial policy at Cefic. "Our competitive advantage and future growth could come from specialized, higher-value-added products and solutions for a climate neutral and circular economy, if we have the right EU policy framework and sufficient support for innovative chemistry in place."
Source: Weekly “PetroChemical News”, Durham, NC, USA; 30 Dec 2019
(Syed Rashid Ali, Karachi, Pakistan)