Trends in the chemical industry

  • Growth below our expectations

In light of the dampened dynamic in its key customer industries, the chemical industry (excluding pharmaceuticals) grew by 3.6%. Our original forecast of 4.2% had been much higher. This development was largely a factor of slower momentum in China, the world’s largest chemical market. There, chemical production gained 7.0%, around 2.3 percentage points under the previous year’s rate.

Growing at 0.3% (2014: +0.6%), the chemical industry in the European Union continued to lag behind the total industry. As in the previous year, momentum was provided by the United Kingdom and the eastern E.U. countries. Chemical production again declined slightly in Germany. In the United States, the 3.5% growth rate was 2.1 percentage points stronger than in the previous year, although momentum decelerated as the year progressed. At –1.7%, chemical production in South America declined at the same rate as in the previous year. Production volumes rose slightly in Japan, growing by 1.6% (2014: –0.8%).

Chemical production (excluding pharmaceuticals)
(Real change compared with previous year1)
Chemical production (excluding pharmaceuticals), Real change compared with previous year (bar chart)

1 Figures that refer to previous years could deviate from last year’s report due to statistical revisions.