The Polish chemical sector recorded positive annual performance across all major segments in 2012, but the growth pace decelerated visibly compared to the previous year, in line with the slowdown of country’s economy and external demand. The situation is also partly explained by high base comparison, particularly in the case of exports, which neared pre-crisis levels in 2011. The exports of chemicals advanced by 4.9% year on year to over EUR 19.8bn and accounted for 13.9% of Poland’s total exports in 2012, the second group in terms of size.
In terms of output and production sold, the situation varied widely across the market segments in 2012 and January to April 2013. Production of plastics in primary forms declined by 0.8% year on year in 2012, but witnessed a rebound in January to April 2013. Production of rubber products also returned to growth in 2013, after shrinking by 5.6% year on year in 2012. Nitrogenous fertiliser output recorded year on year advance last year, but turned in the negative area in January to April 2013, partly on seasonal factors.
Despite the slowdown of growth in 2012 and January to April 2013, the performance of the Polish chemical sector remains above the European average, where production contracted by 1.5% year on year in 2012 and by 2.1% year on year in Q1/2013.
The growth of sales revenues in the chemical industry also eased visibly in 2012, to 5.6% year on year, from 10.5% year on year in 2011, official statistics show. Although major companies active in the chemical sector reported rising revenues in 2012, profitability deteriorated visibly, impacted negatively by the sharp increase of raw material prices, as well as prices of natural gas and electricity. According to market data, 17 of the top 20 chemical players recorded y/y increase of revenues in 2012. In terms of net profit, however, more than half of them reported declining annual result.
The prospects for the future are linked to a cumulus of factors, related to the overall macroeconomic environment both in Poland and in the EU, as most chemical exports have European destinations, particular performance of the sectors supplied by the chemical industry, regulatory measures, as well as the evolution of the exchange rate.
Release Date: Sat, 29 Jun 2013