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European Chemicals Growth to Slow Amid Competition From Asia

Dec. 7 (Bloomberg) -- Growth in Europe’s chemical industry will slow in 2011 as the effects of restocking, exports and economic support measures fade and competition from suppliers in Asia and the Middle East increases, an industry group said.

Output is expected to grow by 2.5 percent in 2011, compared with a predicted 10-percent jump this year, the European Chemical Industry Council, a Brussels-based business lobbying group, said in a statement today.

“Competitive pressures, especially from overseas competitors, will make it more important than ever for policymakers to set the right framework conditions in Europe and to reduce unnecessary regulatory burdens, which would help European industry grow their businesses,” said group President Giorgio Squinzi in the statement.

Europe’s chemicals industry posted a trade surplus of 32 billion euros ($42.5 billion) in the first eight months, according to the statement, as the recession forced companies in the region to streamline operations. Global competition remains “fierce” as rivals in the Middle East boost their capacity and Asian producers continue to “relentlessly” expand.

To contact the reporter on this story: Jeroen Molenaar in Amsterdam at jmolenaar1@bloomberg.net.

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Benedikt Kammel at bkammel@bloomberg.net.

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