Bleak future for German chemical industry
Increased energy prices and a decline in demand will characterize the developments in the chemical industry, warns German Chemical Industry Association-president Markus Steilemann. He even warns of possible shutdowns. But car wash chemicals may not be affected too much.
After a difficult year, the chemical and pharmaceutical industry in Germany is not too hopeful about 2024. Both the current business situation and expectations for the coming months were assessed as negative by the German Chemical Industry Association (VCI) at the end of December. Industry turnover is expected to fall by 3% in 2024 compared to the previous year. Production in the chemical industry is expected to stagnate due to a lack of orders.
Germany’s third-largest industrial sector has experienced challenging times due to the rise in energy prices in the wake of the war in Ukraine and a weak economy. In the current year, the chemical and pharmaceutical industry recorded a 12 percent drop in turnover to around 230 billion euros. Production fell by 8 percent, with an 11 percent decline recorded in the chemicals sector alone (excluding pharmaceuticals).
“The longer this situation continues, the more we have to expect that more plants will be shut down,” warned VCI President Markus Steilemann. According to the organization, measures such as cutting away weak business branches, relocating investments abroad or cutting staff cannot be ruled out. Nevertheless, employment remained stable this year at around 477,000 people.
At present, no such measures are known to have been taken by companies involved in the production of washing chemicals.