The Brussels-based European Chemical Industry Council (Cefic) has reported in its ‘Chemicals Trend Report' that European chemical output only grew by 0.2 percent in 2014, while sales were down 1.1 percent on the previous year.
For 2014, net exports of chemicals from the European Union countries reached 44.1 billion euros (nearly $47.2 billion) but were markedly below the record 48.2 billion euros ($51.5 billion) in 2013.
Cefic director Hubert Mandery said in a statement: “The lack of growth in 2014 was partly due to falling exports. Though the price of oil has fallen here in Europe, lowering producer costs, long-term problems persist, especially the challenge of securing affordable energy supplies.”
The slow sales trend continued in the early part of 2015.
Cefic highlights that polymers and consumer chemicals output declined 0.6 percent and 0.2 percent respectively in January 2015 compared to January 2014. Overall, EU chemicals output dropped by 0.3 percent in January 2015 compared to January 2014.
Cefic's data shows that EU chemical producer prices fell 6 percent in January 2015 compared to January 2014. Full-year 2014 prices slid 1.8 percent compared to 2013.
Cefic was created in 1972, and represents 29,000 companies that produce around 17 percent of the world's chemicals and employ 1.2 million people.