European Chemical Industry Struggles as Costs Surge

Chemicals

For the first time, the European Union imported more chemicals than it exports, including both volume and value that resulted in a trade deficit of 5.6 billion euros for the first half of the year, says European Chemical Industry Council (Cefic).

The chemical industry, which is one of the most energy intensive across Europe, has been struggling to compete on the global market with businesses from regions with favourable energy prices.

Marco Mensink, director general of Cefic, said that they are reaching a point of no-return, if there is no emergency solution to the energy prices provided to the chemical sector, and they are not very far off the breaking point. Marco Mensink added that there are hundreds of businesses in the chemical industry that are already in survival mode that they have also started seeing the first closures.

Marco Mensink said Cefic wants the European Commission and member nations to agree on a pan-European plan to reduce the impact of energy prices, by increasing energy supply, and encouraging a decrease in energy consumption.

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European chemical companies were badly affected by Russia’s continued curtailment of natural gas flows. According to the latest quarterly Gas Market Report from the International Energy Agency, Russian gas supplies to Europe have decreased by 50 percent since the beginning of 2022. This has pushed the international process to new heights.

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