VCI Chemical Group Cuts Industry Sales Forecast for Third Time

The VCI chemical association, which represents 1,650 companies including BASF SE and Evonik Industries AG, cut for a third time its forecast for sales in the industry as selling prices drop more than expected.

Revenue in the industry will probably increase by 0.5 percent to 187.7 billion euros ($253.4 billion) this year, the Frankfurt-based lobby group said today in a statement. Previously the group had predicted a gain of 1 percent.

BASF and Evonik both said last month that they will accelerate savings programs and cut jobs in response to slower demand growth and increased competition from Asian suppliers. Chemical production will gain 1.5 percent this year, the VCI said today, sticking to a previous forecast.

“The German chemical industry is experiencing an unsettled year,” the chemical lobby said in today’s statement. “After a strong second quarter 2013, the third quarter was more restrained.”

Chemical production remained flat in the third quarter compared to the previous three months, the VCI said. Selling prices and sales dropped 1 percent from the second quarter, it said.

The VCI in December predicted a 2 percent increase in sales for this year. The lobby reduced its forecast by half a percentage point in July and September.

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