Buoyed by strong growth in global economy and a robust economic growth in Euro area, production in the EU chemicals sector grew 2.6% from January to February 2018 compared to the same period of 2017, with output rising in most chemicals sub-sectors, says the latest Chemicals Trends Report by Cefic. Paints and coating and consumer chemicals grew about 6% each during the same period (y-o-y). Specialties posted less significant output growth (2.7%, y-o-y). Meanwhile, producer prices were above the previous year’s level, growing 3 per cent in the EU chemicals sector from January to February 2018 (y-o-y). Polymers and petrochemicals posted significant and positive growth in prices compared to the other sectors.
The EU chemicals imports reached the value of €106.7 bn in 2017, rising by 8.1 bn (+8.3 per cent). All chemicals sectors posted an increase in import revenue. The analysis shows that imports went up significantly with China, the USA and Russia. On the sectoral side, imports in specialty chemicals went up by 11.2% in 2017 compared to 2016, followed by polymers (10.7%). Chemicals consumption rises 8.4% (2017) Chemicals consumption (domestic sales + imports) in the EU home market developed positively in 2017. Consumption wentup significantly, reaching €499.4 bn in 2017, up from €460.6 bn in 2016 (8.4 per cent, y-o-y).
On the exports front, the EU chemicals exports reached the value of €155.4 bn in 2017, rising by 9.5 bn (+6.5 per cent). All chemicals sectors posted an increase in export revenue. The analysis shows that exports increased significantly with Asian countries including China. On the sectoral side, exports in consumer chemicals went up by 10% in 2017 compared to 2016, followed by polymers (8.9%). The net trade surplus was €48.7 bn during the twelve months of 2017 (additional €1.4 bn), the largest EU chemicals surplus occurring with rest of Europe. EU chemicals however registered a trade deficit with South Korea, India, and Japan.