Brussels – The European chemical sector has continued to perform strongly in 2018, with output up 2.6% in the first two months of the year compared to the same period in 2017.
According to the latest chemicals trends report published by European Chemical Industry Council (Cefic), production rose in most chemicals sub-sectors, with paints and coating and consumer chemicals posting a 6% growth. Demand for speciality chemicals was up 2.7% year-on-year.
Chemicals prices rose 3.0% during the period, with polymers and petrochemicals posting “significant and positive growth” in prices compared to the other sectors.
Citing a report by Munich-based Institute for Economic Research, Cefic said expansion in the Euro area economy is set to continue, buoyed by global economic activity and export demand.
The main force behind the expansion, it added, will be investment, driven by favourable financing conditions and still upward trending capacity utilisation.
In 2017, European chemicals imports rose 8.3% to €106.7 billion compared to 2016, with all chemicals sectors posting an increase in import revenue.
The figure went up significantly with contribution from China, the US and Russia, Cefic said.
Imports in speciality chemicals climbed 11.2% in 2017 compared to 2016, followed by polymers which saw a 10.7% increase.
Consumption, which includes domestic sales and imports, also rose 8.4% last year to €499.4 billion.
In terms of exports, the EU posted a 6.5% increase to €155.4 billion in 2017, with all chemical sectors registering growth.
Exports increased significantly to Asian countries including China.
On the sectoral side, exports in consumer chemicals went up by 10% in 2017, followed by polymers, which posted an 8.9% rise.