Brussels – EU chemicals output is set to grow by 3% year-on-year in 2017 and by around 2% in 2018, European industry body Cefic forecast 7 Dec.
The projections, it said, reflect recovery in the chemical sector helped by growth in the EU economy in the first three quarters of 2017.
This, in turn, led to higher consumer demand and investments in new production capacities, according to Brussels-based Cefic.
The automotive, construction, metal production and electronics sectors were to the fore in driving up domestic demand for chemicals, the group said.
Exports of the EU-produced chemicals to Asia and Russia also increased in 2017.
For 2018, however, Cefic warned of the risk of “investment leakage” due to high energy and feedstock prices as well as carbon costs under the EU Emission Trading System (EU ETS).
“The EU chemical industry is facing fierce competition from China and NAFTA countries who currently dominate the global chemicals market,” it stated.
Cefic is working with the EC and EU member states to develop the ‘Renewed EU Industrial Policy Strategy’ in order to improve the EU’s global competitiveness.
Accounting for 1.1% of the EU’s GDP and employing 1.2 million people, the chemicals industry is the third largest investor in EU manufacturing sector.