Restrained optimism in chemical industry

Top managers from the chemical industry think that there is reason for restrained optimism with regard to global growth prospects for the chemical industry: only 44% of chairmen of the board from the chemical industry are truly convinced that turnover generated by their enterprises is going to increase over the next twelve months. This is the finding of a global survey among about 40 chairmen of chemical enterprises which was carried out by PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC).

The survey is part of the »Global CEO Survey« carried out each year by PwC. »The rather restrained optimism in the chemical industry is due in particular to a fierce price war, higher energy costs as well as a concern of increasing over-regulation«, comments Dr. Volker Fitzner,who is responsible for the chemical industry with PwC, these figures. Thus, almost 90% of chairmen say that they consider competition with producers from low-wage countries to be the greatest challenge, whereas the cross-sectoral average percentage is just 66% in this respect. Also important is the fear of increasing energy costs which worries 86% of those representatives from the chemical industry questioned (cross-sectoral 62%).

More and more regulation in the chemical industry is seen as a great challenge by 80% of those surveyed. This is particularly true of the REACh guideline by the EU (Regulation, Evaluation and Authorisation of Chemicals) which since June 1st 2007 applies to all EU-based companies. For certain dangerous chemicals all manufacturers thereof have to indicate in a detailed manner how these can be sold, transported and used in a safe way. »In principle REACh does not only apply to internal, but also external relations with suppliers and may disrupt the smooth functioning of the supply chain which would have effects on the profitability of companies which do not make part of the chemical industry as such«, says Dr. Volker Fitzner.

The complete »10th Annual Global CEO Survey« is available for free-of-charge download and contains plenty of additional information. GERMAN