Trends in key customer industries

Development of industrial production in 2013

  • At 2.5%, somewhat slower growth in global industrial production than in previous year (+2.7%)
  • Reduced growth in several major customer industries
  • Especially sharp growth decline in transportation sector (2013: +2.1%, 2012: +6.2%)
  • Recovery in construction sector and stronger growth in agriculture
Growth in key customer industries
Real change compared with the previous year
Growth in key customer industries (bar chart)Enlarge image

Global industrial production grew by 2.5% in 2013, somewhat more slowly than in the previous year (+2.7%) and far below our prediction of +3.7%. Growth decelerated slightly in the industrialized countries (2013: +0.5%; 2012: +0.7%). This was largely the result of lower growth rates in the United States and Japan. In Europe, the decline in industrial production was significantly less than in 2012. Reduced growth in the emerging economies (2013: +4.6%; 2012: +5.0%) was mainly due to weaker development in China and India.

Many of the chemical sector’s customer industries saw slower growth in 2013 than in the previous year. The decline was particularly significant in the transportation industry. After pronounced catch-up effects over the last few years, U.S. automobile production continued its robust growth but was nevertheless considerably slower than in 2012. Production fell sharply in Japan after the significant gains of the previous year. Growth in automobile production was also reduced in the emerging markets of Asia. The decline in European automobile production slowed down, yet production continued to shrink.

Only the construction and agricultural sectors were able to buck this trend. The United States, Japan and the emerging markets of Asia saw robust development in the construction industry. The decline in construction activities decelerated slightly in Europe. Agriculture benefited from better weather conditions than in the previous year, which was marked by long dry spells.

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BASF sales by industry
Direct customers


Chemicals and plastics | Energy and resources


Consumer goods | Transportation


Agriculture | Construction


Health and nutrition | Electronics