German chemical sector sees 4.0% growth this year: VCI

2nd March 2011, Comments 0 comments

Sales by German chemicals firms, which include global heavyweights BASF and Bayer, should grow by around four percent this year, more slowly than in 2010, industry federation VCI said Wednesday.

Bouncing back from a global slump in 2009, the chemical industry saw sales leap 17.6 percent last year, returning to pre-crisis levels, VCI figures showed.

Some 413,000 people were employed in the sector, flat with 2009, VCI said.

"Growth will certainly continue in 2011 but the pace will slow markedly," VCI director general Utz Tillmann told a press conference late Tuesday.

His comments were placed under embargo until Wednesday.

"Momentum in emerging countries is already weaker," Tillmann said, while speculation and unrest in Arab countries had raised fears of sharply higher prices for oil and other raw materials.

Energy costs are a major factor in the chemical industry and in others it serves such as automobiles and metallurgy.

Although the sector would continue to focus on the BRIC countries of Brazil, Russia, India and China, they also plan medium-term investments in Germany, Tillmann said.

VCI includes 1,600 companies and represents around 90 percent of the German chemical sector.

© 2011 AFP

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