Chemical production in the United States and Europe is predicted to pick up in 2015, after failing to reach the levels expected this year.
U.S. trade association the American Chemistry Council (ACC) predicts that U.S. chemical output will increase by 3.7 percent in 2015, building on this year's rise of 2.0 percent. Growth is expected to reach 3.9 percent in 2016 and the consensus of the ACC's year-end report is that U.S. output will continue to expand well into the second half of the decade, exceeding that of the overall U.S. economy.
In Europe, growth is anticipated to be more muted. While energy prices have remained low, European producers do not have the same reliable access to low-cost feedstocks as their counterparts across the Atlantic. In the United States, booming shale production has led to a growing supply of cheap shale-derived raw materials, especially natural gas.
CEFIC, Europe's leading chemical industry association, said that chemical output is expected to continue rising in 2015, although expectations about the pace of European and global economic growth have weakened over recent months. It now expects European chemical production to go up by 1.0 percent in 2015, against 1.5 percent foreseen earlier, after growing by 1.0 percent this year.
Germany is the leading chemicals producer in Europe, and German chemical industry association Verband der Chemischen Industrie (VCI) believes that the industry will see a revival next year. The organization predicts that German chemical production will rise by 1.5 percent in 2015, a clear improvement compared with this year's 0.5 percent decrease.