Brussels – The European Union’s chemical output during the first six months of the year surpassed the pre-Covid levels of 2019, according to the latest report by the European Chemical Industry Council (Cefic).
Total chemicals output across the 27 EU nations grew 7.5% year-on-year and by 2.2% compared to the 2019 levels during the period between January and June, said Cefic in a 21 Sept report.
Chemicals sales were up 16.8% higher than last year's €499.1 billion, the report added.
This, said Cefic, was partially due to higher prices which increased 9.7% in 2021 compared to the previous year’s level.
Despite the improved results, Cefic warned that ‘a lot of challenges’ remained ahead of the EU chemicals sector as it is expected to undergo a ‘double twin transition’ to meet the European Green Deal goals.
The challenges, Cefic said, include “going climate-neutral, circular and digital, while anticipating the reform of the EU chemicals regulatory framework as announced by the Chemicals Strategy for Sustainability.”
Cefic welcomed the European Commission’s ‘Fit for 55’ package in July this year as “a crucial step” to climate neutrality by 2050.
“The climate and energy policy reform is an opportunity to safeguard the chemical sector’s key role for the Green Deal’s industrial transformation by applying a sector-specific approach,” said the chemical council.
Such an approach, it added, can provide business cases for electrification of industrial installations and encourage investments in the green technologies developed by the chemical sector.
Such technologies, Cefic went on to say, include e-crackers, hydrogen, carbon capture and storage (CCS) and carbon capture and utilisation (CCU) infrastructure.