Frankfurt, Germany – The German chemicals & pharma industry has registered strong growth in the first half of 2021, despite Covid and logistical disruptions.
Sales were up 12% year-on-year in first half of 2021 to €111 billion, as production increased 5.9%, said the German Chemical Industry Association (VCI) 18 Aug.
The increase, VCI said, reflects the strong 4.7% increase in prices, high demand from home and overseas as well as the weak prior year basis resulted from the outbreak of Covid-19 pandemic.
The capacity utilisation of the systems rose to over 86% and was “well above the level customary for the industry”, as global demand continued to rise.
"Every fifth company reached its capacity limits during production," said Christian Kullmann, VCI president.
Breaking down the production growth, VCI said basic chemistry grew particularly dynamically with the manufacture of polymers up 20% year-over-year.
Speciality chemicals were also up 8.7% compared to the previous year, while pharmaceuticals recorded an increase of 1.4%.
Chemical products for consumption such as soaps, detergents and cleaning agents posted a volume decline of 1.8%.
VCI said it remained confident about the second half of the year, despite “bottlenecks” in the production of raw products and disruptions in international supply chains.
For the full year, the association anticipates a 4.5% increase in production and 11% growth in sales.
"For the second time after 2018, our industry will break the sound barrier of €200 billion this year and with a sales record [that] clearly exceeds the pre-crisis level," said Kullmann.
“It's a powerful comeback,” he added.
The VCI also expects “a record number” for domestic investments this year, with investments in property, plant and equipment set to increase from €8.4 billion to almost €9 billion in the current year.
The association said the reason for the increase is the rescheduling of projects and capacity expansions which were postponed last year.