Lack of demand from industrial customers as well as global economic uncertainties continue to create problems for the German chemical and pharmaceutical industry.
Weak numbers for the second quarter of 2019 have prompted the German Chemical Industry Association (VCI) to lower its full-year forecast for the third time this year.
There is no improvement in sight, the association reported on Wednesday in Frankfurt.
Because the chemical industry supplies many primary products, it is regarded as an important leading indicator for the economic development of the overall economy.
The third largest industrial sector in Germany has not been able to pull itself out of the doldrums: Production fell by 0.7 per cent in the period April to June compared to the previous quarter, and by 8.8 per cent compared to the same quarter of the previous year.
The VCI blamed a lack of demand from German industrial customers, where not just the automotive sector weakened, for the slump. There were also fewer orders from Europe, the most important foreign market.
Compared to the first quarter, quarterly sales stagnated at 48 billion euros (53 billion dollars), 4.3 per cent below the record high of 2018.
For the full year 2019, the VCI lowered its forecast for the third time, now expecting a decline in sales by 5 per cent to 193 billion euros.
Production will decline by 6 per cent with slightly rising chemical prices, the VCI said.
In December, the association had predicted a 1.5-per-cent increase in production.
In addition to the economic fluctuations, the end in production of a blockbuster drug in Germany also played a role.
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