Chemical output in the EU from January-April 2020 dropped by 3.4% compared to the previous year’s level (January-April 2019), following the COVID19 outbreak in Europe.
It is too early to establish the exact impact of the pandemic on the chemical output for 2020; the forecast will depend on the length and severity of the COVID19 crisis. In the best-case scenario, output is expected to start to grow modestly in 2021, unless a second wave of pandemic hits the EU in the second half of 2020. In the latter case, output is likely to register a second drop in 2021. In both cases, many quarters of growth will be needed to reach the pre-COVID19 output levels.
While overall production has declined, some sectors of the chemical industry providing for essential supply chains during the COVID19 outbreak have remained stable or posted growth in the first half of 2020, particularly those producing essential supplies such as disinfectants, diagnostic tests, ventilators, protective masks, gloves and gowns, as well as Intensive Care Unit medicines.
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