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Recovery in sight for Germany’s chemical sector

by Alex Scott
May 23, 2024 | A version of this story appeared in Volume 102, Issue 16


Germany’s chemical industry appears to be growing again for the first time since the COVID-19 pandemic. Production in the first quarter of the year rose 4.4%, though prices were down 5.6% compared with the year-earlier period, according to Verband der Chemischen Industrie (VCI), Germany’s leading chemical industry association. “We are now looking to the future with a little more optimism because the growth prospects are slowly brightening,” VCI president Markus Steilemann says in a press release. VCI forecasts 3.5% growth in production and a 1.5% sales rise for 2024. But he warns that the sector needs more government support to ensure its sustained recovery. Even if demand is increasing, orders remain weak overall, especially domestically, he adds. “Germany is and will remain too expensive as a business location and only politics can change that,” Steilemann says. Meanwhile, the Ifo Institute, a German economic research organization, says that it surveyed the country’s chemical sector in April and found the outlook more positive than it had been. “The chemical industry is somewhat more confident about the coming months,” Anna Wolf, an industry expert at the institute, says in a press release.


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