By SHEENAGH MATTHEWS and EMMA-VICTORIA FARR
German chemical sales rose 2% in the first half on higher
demand for fine chemicals and specialty products, the VCI
German chemical trade group said.
The industrys revenue reached 98 billion euros ($133
billion), VCI said at a press conference in Frankfurt, where
the group is based. Chemical production including
pharmaceuticals gained 3% while selling prices dropped 2%.
VCI, which represents 1,650 German chemical companies
including BASF and Lanxess, reiterated a full-year forecast
for chemical sales to gain 1.5%, as the industry sells more
for a lower average price. None of Germanys chemical
companies have reported first-half earnings yet, with BASF
scheduled to release on July 24.
The chemical industry is feeling an upward swing,
VCI said. In the first half of the year 2014, domestic
sales with industrial customers increased strongly.
Neighboring European countries also ordered more
A free-trade agreement between the Europe
an Union and the US called
the Trans-Atlantic Trade and Investment Partnership, or TTIP,
would boost would boost chemical production by 2 billion
euros and create 2,000 jobs, said Karl-Ludwig Kley, president
of the VCI.
Talks between the US and Europe
an Union to establish the
worlds largest free-trade area began last July.
Chancellor Angela Merkel is promoting TTIP to a skeptical
German public as a way to boost growth and jobs in Europe.
EU officials have raised concern that the agreement will have
to respect European privacy and data laws. Opponents
campaigned against TTIP in European elections in May,
focusing on US food standards they say are lower than in Europe
Chemical production will probably increase 2% with selling
prices dropping 0.5%, leading to the gain of 1.5% in sales to
191.5 billion euros, VCI reiterated.