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Second corona wave threatens the recovery of the chemical industry | Free Press

Germany’s third-largest industrial sector after automotive and mechanical engineering rebounded strongly from the fall of Corona in the summer. But now the new blockades once again threaten setbacks.

Frankfurt / Main (dpa): The second crown wave and blockades in many countries are weighing down the German chemical and pharmaceutical industry.

After a recovery in the third quarter, business prospects have clouded again, the Chemical Industry Association (VCI) announced Wednesday. The industry is facing a difficult last quarter, said VCI President Christian Kullmann in Frankfurt. “Even if the rebound in the industry was strong, Corona threatens a new brake. The federal government must avoid permanent economic damage. “

In view of the increase in corona infections, not only Germany is in partial lockdown, countries like Italy and France have also closed public and economic life. According to the VCI, this should put a significant brake on the recovery. Quarantine measures, interrupted supply chains and canceled orders are likely to affect the business again. “The optimism of the summer is gone.” On the contrary, the demand for chemicals such as soaps, cleaning agents and disinfectants is likely to increase again.

In the current year, the German chemical and pharmaceutical industry continues to expect a drop in sales of six percent to 186.4 billion euros. Compared to the previous year, production is likely to drop 3 percent and prices 2 percent, VCI believes.

In the third quarter, the major German industrial sector with 464,000 employees rebounded from the fall of Corona in the first half of the year. Economically sensitive chemicals benefited in particular from higher industrial demand, especially in Germany, but also from customers in other European countries. Production increased 1.9 percent compared to the previous quarter, while sales grew 2.8 percent to just under € 44 billion, thanks in part to a slight increase in producer prices. The association emphasized that the level of the previous year has not yet been reached.

The economically sensitive chemical industry has long been suffering from weak industrial demand and global trade conflicts. Above all, the crisis affecting car manufacturers that buy paints, plastics and tires from the chemical industry is having a strong impact on the industry. Heavy hitters like BASF are responding by cutting thousands of jobs. On the contrary, the pharmaceutical industry has so far proven to be an anchor of stability.