CEFIC: EU production down in 2020
The European Chemical Industry Council (CEFIC) has reported that EU27 chemical production fell by 1.9% from 2019 to 2020. It expects 3% and 22% growth in 2021 and 2022 respectively. However, “longer-term economic outlook remains highly uncertain due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and its continued economic impacts”.
The fall reflected the pandemic’s wider effects on EU manufacturing, as almost all manufactured goods require chemicals. With this 8.2% down in 2020, there was a decline in chemicals output in almost all areas, slightly offset by increased demand in chemicals used in goods critical to public health, such as PPE, medicines and disinfectants.
The overall capacity of the EU27 chemical industry dropped by about 6% in 2020 on 2019. For the first 11 months, sales were €34.8 billion down and exports were €7.4 billion (4.5%) down.
“2020 has proven the chemical value chains to be among the most resilient in Europe,” commented CEFIC Director General, Marco Mensink (pictured above). “The industry stood up, rose to the expectations and has delivered valuable support on, for example, disinfectants supply.”
However, he added, while looking ahead to the European Commission’s new industrial policy strategy: “Full recovery will need further support. A strong industrial policy does not only support the sectors in need but also starts to build upon the sectors proven to be most resilient, which are the basis for tomorrow’s economy.”