FRANKFURT, Germany—Production of chemicals in Germany grew by 1.3 percent in the third quarter compared to the previous three months, the country's chemicals industry association has reported.
The trend was accompanied by a 0.7 percent drop in chemicals prices and a sales rise of 0.4 percent to $53.9 billion, the Verband der Chemischen Industrie eV said Nov. 2.
The sales figure also represented a 6.1 percent rise compared to the third quarter of 2016 while capacity utilization, at 85.6 percent, was above-average for the third consecutive quarter. Chemical prices, though lower quarter-on-quarter, were still 2.9 percent higher than a year ago.
VCI mainly linked the gains to strong domestic demand, particularly for fine and specialty chemicals, and increased exports to Europe, Asia and the U.S.
"Production improved vigorously during the summer months, leading to higher sales irrespective of falling prices. Capacity utilization remained at a high level," said Frankurt-based VCI.
For the full-year, the VCI forecast chemical production to grow by 2 percent in 2017. Chemical prices, it said, are assumed to rise by 3 percent and industry sales should go up by 5 percent to around $224.8 billion.
"2017 can become a good year for the chemical industry in Germany," said VCI president Kurt Bock. "But this is no guarantee for the time after that.
"Our companies are expecting the incoming federal government to set a reliable industrial policy course for growth, investment, affordable energy and more support for research and innovation. These are important prerequisites for a successful future."
The VCI represents more than 90 percent of the German chemical industry including around 1,700 German chemical companies and German subsidiaries of foreign businesses. In 2016, the German chemical industry realized sales of around $214.3 billion and employed more than 447,000 people.