France's petrochemicals industry showing strong growth but still vulnerable to potential slowdown in domestic demand, increased competition with imports, cost pressures, says BMI report; Q1 chemicals output up 9.9% year-over-year, 7.1% sequentially

DUBLIN , September 26, 2011 (press release) – Research and Markets ( has announced the addition of the "France Petrochemicals Report Q4 2011" report to their offering.

France Petrochemicals Report provides industry professionals and strategists, corporate analysts, petrochemical associations, government departments and regulatory bodies with independent forecasts and competitive intelligence on France's petrochemicals industry.

The French petrochemicals industry is showing strong growth, but remains vulnerable to a potential slowdown in domestic demand as well as increased competition with imports and cost pressures, according to BMI's latest France Petrochemicals Report.

In Q111, French chemicals output grew 9.9% y-o-y and 7.1% q-o-q, according to the Union des Industries Chimiques (UIC). Strong growth is expected to continue throughout 2011, assisted by a low base in Q410 when output was disrupted by strikes and weather conditions. As a result of positive results in Q111, BMI has raised its growth forecast for the year to 3.2% from 2.5%. Growth is likely to moderate in 2012 as the industry approaches pre-recession norms with a rise of 2.2%.

Activity has been driven by both international and domestic markets. Chemical exports were up 15.3% yo-y in Q111 while imports grew 22.3% y-o-y, suggesting a healthy domestic market. Inventory levels were still low by mid-2011, keeping the market tight and assisting with improved capacity utilisation.

The automotive industry, led by growth in emerging market, along with new opportunities in energy and sustainable development are driving demand. However, the construction industry continues to underperform, affecting chloride and its derivatives such as PVC. Inorganic chemical production is set to grow by around 3.0% in 2011 due to sales of industrial gases and fertiliser. Meanwhile, polymers are benefitting from industrial demand and consumer goods in all market sectors - automotive, electronics and consumer goods.

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