BASF Report 2023

Outlook for Key Customer Industries

Overall, we anticipate growth of 2.2% (2023: +1.4%) in global industrial production. Industrial production is expected to grow again slightly in the advanced economies (2024: +0.4%, 2023: –0.4%). Growth in the emerging markets is expected to accelerate slightly (2024: +3.5%, 2023: +2.8%).

We are forecasting weak growth of only +1.1% for the entire transportation industry1 (2023: +9.5%). We expect global production volumes of passenger cars and light commercial vehicles to only stagnate (–0.5%) after the strong growth of the previous year (+9.4%), which was impacted by catch-up effects. Global automotive production will therefore remain at a level of around 90 million vehicles. The share of battery electric vehicles (BEVs) in the total production volume is expected to increase further from around 12% in 2023 to 15% in 2024. Developments will differ from region to region: A slight overall decline is expected in Asia. While Chinese car production is expected to stagnate at a high level, declines are anticipated for Japan and South Korea. In contrast, we are forecasting further slight growth for North and South America. We expect production in the E.U. and the United Kingdom to decline. However, Western Europe also saw the strongest growth in the previous year.

The energy and raw materials sector is expected to grow slightly faster in 2024 than in 2023. The expected slightly higher industry growth and the associated increase in demand for energy and non-energy raw materials will contribute to this. In addition, a normalization of weather conditions after a warmer-than-average 2023 is expected to increase demand for oil and gas to heat buildings.

Growth in the construction industry is well below the long-term average due to high interest rates in Europe and the United States and the real estate crisis in China. While we expect a further decline in residential construction in 2024, particularly in Europe and the United States, nonresidential construction is likely to continue to grow. Investment in public and private infrastructure is likely to remain high, leading to continued dynamic growth in the infrastructure sector. Overall, we expect only slightly higher growth for the construction industry compared with the previous year.

Consumer goods production is expected to grow at around the same rate as global GDP. Wage and salary increases in Europe and the United States are leading to real income growth in many cases, which should support consumer demand, particularly in the areas of textiles and clothing, electrical household appliances and consumer goods (care products). Demand for furniture, on the other hand, is expected to stagnate. However, we do not expect the furniture industry to shrink any further after the sharp decline in 2023.

The electronics industry is expected to grow more strongly again in 2024 after stagnating in the previous year. While growth in traditional consumer electronics is likely to slow down, we again expect increases in computers and communication electronics due to the short product life cycles. Overall, however, the expected growth in 2024 remains below the average of previous years.

We anticipate a recovery in growth in the health and nutrition sector. After the decline in pharmaceutical production in Asia in 2022 and 2023, we expect a normalization in 2024. For the nutrition sector, we assume global growth in line with GDP growth. Due to the stronger growth in the pharmaceutical sector, we are forecasting slightly higher growth than GDP for the health and nutrition sector.

Production in agriculture will presumably grow more moderately in 2024. However, regional trends vary greatly. For Western Europe, moderate growth in agricultural production is expected again after the hot summer of 2023 if weather conditions normalize. Growth in Eastern Europe is expected to remain stable, provided that production in Ukraine can be maintained at the current level. In North America, growth is expected to increase slightly. By contrast, we expect agricultural production in South America to grow slightly slower overall. However, this varies widely by country: While growth in Brazil is expected to weaken after the strong previous year, we anticipate that it will pick up in the other countries in the region. For Asia, which accounts for 65% of global agricultural production, we are forecasting a slight slowdown in growth in the agricultural sector overall.

1 The transportation industry includes the production of motor vehicles, motor vehicle parts and the construction of other vehicles (especially ships and boats, trains, air and spacecraft, and two-wheelers).

Chart Generator

Key figures comparison

Topic filter

Results for