Germany’s VCI chemical association, which represents companies including BASF SE (BAS) and Evonik Industries AG, cut its full-year forecast for sales and production on lower expectations for economic growth.
Production will probably stagnate this year, while sales will gain 1 percent on higher selling prices, the Frankfurt- based association said in a statement today. That compares to a December forecast for production to grow 1 percent and sales to increase 2 percent.
“The economic fog is still relatively thick,” said Utz Tillmann, president of the VCI. “Uncertainties tied to the sovereign debt crisis in Europe and the U.S. as well as repeated retraction of growth forecasts by the research institutions is putting pressure on sentiment in the chemical industry.”
BASF, the world’s biggest chemical maker, surprised analysts including Oliver Schwarz of M.M. Warburg and Peter Spengler of DZ Bank by predicting last week that earnings and sales will rise again this year. Economic growth in emerging economies such as Brazil, Russia, India and China will drive revenue in the industry, VCI said.
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