BRUSSELS—European Union chemicals production grew significantly this year, while still remaining below pre-crisis level, according to the latest figures released by industry body Cefic.
In an Aug. 24 report, Cefic said chemicals output within the EU was up by 3.1 percent during first half of 2017, compared to the same period last year.
Production rose in most chemicals sub-sectors, with significant rises in crop protection, basic inorganics, polymers and consumer chemicals. Speciality chemicals registered "modest" growth.
Prices for chemicals were up 5.7 percent during the first half as well, Cefic noted.
Additionally, higher volumes and a positive trend in producer prices led to an up-trend in pricing.
Domestic sales within the EU single market rose 15 percent year-on-year to $194.2 billion, while total sales grew 8 percent to $260.3 billion during the first five months of 2017.
Consumption also saw a year-on-year rise of 8.9 percent at $239 billion within first five months.
Citing an EU Commission business survey, Cefic said capacity utilization in the EU chemicals sector reached 84.1 percent in the second quarter of 2017, showing growth for the fifth consecutive quarter.
The survey also suggests that confidence among chemicals makers continues to improve. The business situation, it said, "became more favorable in the second quarter of 2017 compared to the first quarter of the same year."