London – UK chemicals manufacturer have seen a “modest expansion” in sales and exports to non-EU countries, according to a recent quarterly survey by the Chemical Industry Association (CIA).
Sales diffusion index and non-EU export index stood at 55.4% and 56.5% respectively, both passing the 50% mark to represent growth, said CIA in a 13 Nov review of the survey.
The overall performance index 'beat forecasts' at 51.5%, said the association, without giving further details of participant numbers and when the survey was carried out.
“Despite new Covid restrictions, the increases in sales and exports are predicted to continue into the final quarter of the year,” the association said.
For the year 2021, the survey showed that 57% of chemical businesses expect to see sales climb further, with more global export growth anticipated.
More significantly, some 98% of companies indicated that they had no plans to use new economic support measures introduced by the government.
This, the CIA said, reflected “the resilience of the industry,” but warned that any prolonged impact from the latest Covid restrictions may see some reduction in the figure.
The survey also showed that the industry believes that it has had access to adequate levels of government support, including non-financial, throughout the crisis.
“This performance shows the strength of chemical businesses in adapting to pressures from all angles,” said Steve Elliott, Chief Executive of the association.
However, Elliot warned that the sector was “still far from out of the woods.”
“Further and necessary Covid restrictions may impact negatively and the looming threat of a “no” or inadequate UK/EU trade deal remains,” he added.
“Avoiding tariffs, minimising customs and border delays and securing a cost-effective agreement on our future EU and UK REACH requirements are all critical outcomes from the current negotiations,” he concluded.