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Economy

UK chemical industry weathering the storm

by Alex Scott
November 21, 2020 | APPEARED IN VOLUME 98, ISSUE 45

 

Chemical companies in the UK are “weathering the economic storm” caused by COVID-19 and the country’s impending exit from the European Union, according to a new analysis by the Chemical Industries Association (CIA), a trade group. CIA members surveyed reported a modest hike in sales in the third quarter, the group states. Despite new COVID-19 restrictions in the UK, 57% of members expect domestic and international sales to increase in the fourth quarter. The sector’s resilience is illustrated by the fact that 98% of members chose not to take advantage of financial support offered in recent weeks by the UK government, the CIA says. But Steve Elliott, the association’s CEO, warns in a statement, “We are still far from out of the woods.” Further and necessary COVID-19 restrictions may negatively impact the sector, as could the UK’s trade terms with the EU, which have yet to be agreed upon, Elliott says. The CIA’s key trade concerns include new tariffs and customs and border delays. The UK is due to separate from the EU at the end of this year.

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