LONDON—United Kingdom chemicals manufacturers have seen a modest expansion in sales and exports to non-European Union countries, according to a recent quarterly survey by the Chemical Industry Association.
Sales diffusion index and non-EU export index stood at 55.4 percent and 56.5 percent, respectively, both passing the 50 percent mark to represent growth, CIA said in a Nov. 13 review of the survey.
The overall performance index beat forecasts at 51.5 percent, the association said, without giving further details of participant numbers and when the survey was carried out.
"Despite new COVID restrictions, the increases in sales and exports are predicted to continue into the final quarter of the year," the association said.
For the year 2021, the survey showed that 57 percent of chemical businesses expect to see sales climb further, with more global export growth anticipated.
More significantly, some 98 percent of companies indicated they had no plans to use new economic support measures introduced by the government.
This reflected "the resilience of the industry," but the CIA warned that any prolonged impact from the latest COVID restrictions may see some reduction in the figure.
The survey also showed the industry believes it has had access to adequate levels of government support, including non-financial, throughout the crisis.
"This performance shows the strength of chemical businesses in adapting to pressures from all angles," said Steve Elliott, chief executive of the association.
Elliot said the sector "still (is) far from out of the woods."
"Further and necessary COVID restrictions may impact negatively, and the looming threat of a 'no' or inadequate U.K./EU trade deal remains," he added.
"Avoiding tariffs, minimizing customs and border delays and securing a cost-effective agreement on our future EU and U.K. REACH requirements are all critical outcomes from the current negotiations," he concluded.