German Chemical Sector Shows Slight Recovery

The German chemical-pharmaceutical sector ended the first quarter of 2015 on a positive note. According to the latest report of the German Chemical Industry Association (VCI), the sector grew moderately in the first three months of the year, due to the stable global economy.

In the first quarter 2015, chemical production rose by 1.9 percent above the previous quarter, although it was still 0.2 percent below the level of the same quarter last year. Capacity utilization climbed slightly to 84.1 percent as well.

Following the tendency of the previous quarter, chemical prices fell further by 2.7 percent from January to March 2015. Compared to the first trimester of 2014, prices were altogether 3.5 percent lower. This drop in price was mostly due to the low crude oil prices prevailing at the moment.

Despite registering an increase in production, lower prices led to lower chemical sector sales in the first quarter 2015. During this period, sales fell by 1.3 percent in comparison to the previous quarter, totaling 46 billion euros.

The chemical-pharmaceutical sector reached these results with a workforce of 444.800 in Germany.

For 2015, the VCI is forecasting a rise of 1.5 percent in chemical production. However, chemical prices and consequently sales are expected to drop by 2 percent and 0.5 percent respectively.