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Growth in EU chems industry will slow to 2.5% in 2011 - Cefic

December 07/2010

(ICIS) -- Growth in the EUs chemicals industry will slow to 2.5% in 2011 after a recovery of 10% this year as domestic demand remains below pre-crisis levels, chemical industry association Cefic said on Tuesday.


We maintain our view from earlier this year that the sharp chemicals rebound in 2009 and early 2010 was driven by inventory rebuilding, support measures, and exports, said Cefics director general Hubert Mandery.


But chemicals output levels forecast for the end of 2011 will remain well below the peak levels reached in 2007, he added.


Cefic said that overseas demand had been the main driver of growth in 2010, but added that domestic demand from within the EU still remained short of pre-crisis levels.


Strong economic activity in Asia is currently driving up commodity prices, notably of oil, and destabilising price spikes are possible, said Cefic.


It also said the European chemical industry had undertaken streamlining of operations, but that global competition remained fierce as Middle East capacity increases, the expansion of Asian producers continues and companies in the US benefit from less expensive shale gas.


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