Increasing Production, Stagnating Sales

German Chemical Industry in Good Shape

02.01.2013 The demand from customers outside Europe strengthened the business of the German chemical industry in the 3rd quarter 2012: After a marked drop in the previous quarter, production was somewhat back on the increase from July to September. This is stated in the quarterly report by the German Chemical Industry Association (VCI) on the situation of Germany’s third largest industry.


Sales of German chemical industry stagnated in the 3rd quarter 2012 due to falling prices. Whilst lower figures were once more recorded in domestic business, chemical exports – especially to customers in the USA, in South America and Asia – improved as compared with the 2nd quarter. The weak phase for exports in the EU persisted due to the debt crisis.
The VCI‘s president Dr Karl-Ludwig Kley comments: „Business of the chemical industry is stagnating at the moment; the minor production increase in the 3rd quarter is no sign of a trend reversal. Currently, we see only a slim chance for an upswing inside the EU. But with our strong value chains in Germany we continue to be successful in markets outside Europe so that we can make up for sales shortcomings in the European Union.“

Forecast: Drop in Production
Compared with 2011, the VCI continues to forecast a drop in chemical production in Germany by 3 percent for 2012 as a whole. With an average increase in chemical prices by 2.5 percent this year, chemical industry sales 2012 are likely to stagnate at 184 billion euros.
In the 3rd quarter 2012 chemical production rose by 1.5 percent against the previous quarter. Production fell by 0.5 percent in comparison with the 3rd quarter 2011. Capacity utilization declined slightly but remained good at 82.8 percent. The price increase for chemical products did not last in the 3rd quarter 2012. Quite the contrary, prices dropped by 0.7 percent against the previous quarter. In the period under review, chemical products were 1.3 percent costlier than one year earlier.
From July to September 2012, sales of the German chemical industry totalled 44.8 billion euros, remaining at the level of the previous quarter. Domestic sales dropped by 1 percent whereas foreign business improved by 1 percent to 27.5 billion euros. Total sales were 2 percent higher than in the 3rd quarter 2011.
In the period under review 437,000 persons were working in German chemical companies. Thus the total number of staff in the German chemical industry rose by 2 percent over the previous year. [AS]

The VCI represents the politico-economic interests of some 1,650 German chemical companies and German subsidiaries of foreign businesses. In 2011 the German chemical industry realized sales of more than 184 billion euros and employed over 428,000 staff.

Heftausgabe: Kompendium Industrieparks 2012

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Armin Scheuermann