German chemical industry confirms outlook for sales growth

FRANKFURT, March 12 Wed Mar 12, 2014 5:02am EDT

FRANKFURT, March 12 (Reuters) - German chemicals trade group VCI on Wednesday confirmed its forecast for industry revenue growth of 1.5 percent this year as the mood among its member businesses perked up in the fourth quarter.

"Towards year-end, confidence in the chemical industry continued to rise," said VCI's managing director Utz Tillmann, adding the main markets were seeing a moderate recovery.

The lobby group, which represents Germany's third-largest industrial sector, still expects output volumes to grow 2 percent this year.

Fourth-quarter revenues were up 3 percent on 3.7 percent higher output volumes, it said. Prices charged to customers declined 2.6 percent from the year-earlier quarter.

The largest German chemical companies are BASF, Evonik, Bayer and Lanxess.

Major foreign producers such as Dow Chemical, DuPont and LyondellBasell also operate sites in Germany, which is Europe's largest chemical producing nation.