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Europeans sense recovery

by Alex Scott
July 31, 2021 | A version of this story appeared in Volume 99, Issue 28


Chemical production among the European Union’s 27 member states rose 5.2% in the first 4 months of the year compared with the same period in 2020, with April 14.3% above the year-earlier period, according to the European Chemical Industry Council (Cefic), a trade association. The UK’s chemical industry also saw a positive start to 2021, with 94% of members of the UK’s Chemical Industries Association reporting level or increased sales in the first quarter. Despite the effects of COVID-19, the EU’s business community is the most optimistic it has been for the past 21 years, according to recent EU data. Since the start of the pandemic, chemical production in Germany, Europe’s biggest chemical producer, has fallen by under 1%. The Netherlands and Poland seem to have recovered totally from the pandemic, Cefic says. France has fared worst of all European countries, with a 7% drop in production, followed by Italy, with a 6% drop. “We are encouraged to see that the chemical output is returning to the pre-pandemic levels,” Cefic director general Marco Mensink says in the report. He warns, however, that “challenging times remain” as the sector faces the challenge of becoming climate neutral and circular while navigating the coming Chemicals Strategy for Sustainability regulation.


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