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Cefic: Europe's chemical output to grow 2.0% this year

3:57 AM MDT | June 20, 2014 | Michael Ravenscroft

Cefic says that Europe's output of chemicals will grow by 2.0% this year on the back of rising industrial demand, in particular from the automotive industry. Production is expected to continue growing in 2015, although likely at 1.5% as restocking tails off, Cefic says. Europe's chemicals production has slumped by more than 20% and has still not reached the peak attained in 2008, according to Cefic.
“We expect a return to growth in output by the European chemical industry this year,” says Kurt Bock, Cefic president and BASF chairman. “However, the recovery is volatile and the pace of expansion is being held back by high energy prices, which put European producers at a severe disadvantage compared with those in North America and the Middle East, who benefit in particular from cheaper gas,” Bock says.
European chemical industry output shrank by 0.2% in 2013, less than the 0.5% expected, Cefic says in its biannual industry forecast. The outlook for 2014 has improved, with growth, excluding pharmaceuticals, now expected to reach 2.0%, Cefic says.
European confidence indicators for the wider economy are positive, according to Cefic. Purchasing managers's expectations suggest that Europe's industrial recovery in Europe is broadening, Cefic says.

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