Chemical industry expects ‘record’ sales

BERLIN (AFP/APP): Germany’s chemical sector anticipates record sales in 2021 despite shortages caused by the coronavirus pandemic that have slowed production, according to an industry report published Wednesday. For 2021, the VCI chemical makers’ group will “signficantly surpass its pre-crisis level, thanks to record revenues,” president Christian Kullmann said in a statement.
In 2020, the sector suffered from the pandemic, with sales plunging by six percent, but the VCI expects revenues for the entire sector to bounce back above “200 billion euros” ($234 billion) in 2021.
“Because industrial production across all continents continues on its path to recovery, the demand for chemicals is developing dynamically,” the VCI said.
In the first half of 2021, the sector saw sales rise by 12 percent, with production up 5.9 percent year on year.
The demand for basic chemicals was “particularly dynamic”, with polymer sales in particular seeing a rise of 20 percent, according to the VCI.
Specialist chemical sales progressed by 8.7 percent.
Pharmaceutical products rose by 1.4 percent, while those for hygiene products dipped by 1.8 percent.
Despite these positive results, global shortages in the supply of chemical precursors and disruption in supply chains will “limit production capacity”, the VCI said. The coronavirus pandemic has caused bottlenecks around the globe. In Germany, industrial production was down 1.3 percent in June compared with the previous month, the third consecutive drop.
The chemical sector in Germany includes giants such as BASF and Bayer, as well as a number of smaller firms, and is the third largest industry in terms of sales in Germany, employing 464,000 people.