Last Update:
Mar. 10, 2011
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Part of the audited Consolidated Financial Statements and Management´s Analysis

Trends in key customer industries

Development of industrial production in 2010

  • Sharp increase in global industrial production (+8.9%); impetus from global economic stimulus programs
  • Major increase in automotive production (+21.5%) owing to higher demand; construction industry declines globally (–1.3%)
  • Significant increases in production in electrical, ICT, textiles, paper and food industries as well as in agriculture

Following a sharp drop in the previous year (–8.1%), global industrial production grew considerably in 2010 (+8.9%). The recovery was more pronounced than we had forecast (+4.9%). The main reasons for the economic upturn included the strong growth in Asia as well as the fiscal and monetary stimulus programs around the world. In Asia’s emerging markets, industrial production (+14.5%) grew twice as fast as in the OECD industrialized countries (+7.2%).

Growth in key customer industries in 2010
Real change compared with the previous year

Growth in key customer industries in 2010 (bar chart)

The automotive industry benefited from government stimulus programs until mid-2010. Thanks to robust economic growth in Asia, the industry also experienced a strong increase in demand. The number of automobiles produced worldwide rose significantly (+21.5%). Following two weak years, U.S. automotive production grew very sharply (+35.0%). In Europe, the market also posted a considerable increase over the previous year (+8.4%).

The construction industry declined worldwide (–1.3%). It decreased again compared with the previous year, in particular in the United States (–11.0%), Japan (–8.0%) and the European Union (–3.6%). Government infrastructure projects were not able to offset the declines in housing and commercial building activity. In the emerging markets of Asia, on the other hand, construction activity continued to grow strongly (+8.2%).

Thanks to catch-up effects worldwide, the electrical industry recovered markedly (+12.0%). Compared with the previous year, there was a significant increase in production in the industrialized countries (+10.1%), in Japan (+22.1%) and in the emerging markets of Asia (+19.0%).

The information and communication technology industry (ICT) also experienced a major recovery, in particular as a result of high demand for entertainment electronics. On account of the strong growth (+16.6%), production returned to the level seen before the economic crisis after just one year.

In the textiles industry, the global trend to relocate production to Asia continued. Starting from a low production level, the industrialized countries posted positive growth (+6.4%) for the first time in seven years. In Asia (excluding Japan), production grew considerably (+10.5%). Globally, it increased sharply (+8.8%).

The paper industry grew worldwide by 7.9%. This was primarily attributable to the demand for packaging paper. Regionally, growth was driven by the emerging markets of Asia (+13.4%). Production in industrialized countries was also significantly higher (+4.4%).

There was above-average growth in the food industry (+3.9%). Production rose measurably in both industrialized countries (+2.5%) and emerging markets (+6.9%).

Agriculture grew considerably worldwide (+4.2%). In industrialized countries, production increased slightly (+1.7%). In emerging markets, favorable weather conditions in China and India led to significant overall growth (+5.5%).
Forecast for the economic environment in 2011

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BASF sales by industry
Direct customers










> 15%



Automotive | Utilities


Construction | Agriculture | Plastics industry | Oil industry

< 5%

Electrical/Electronics | Furniture | Paper


Other industries

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