As the eurozone debt crisis chokes demand for their products, chemical makers in Germany on Wednesday cut their production forecasts for the current year.
"The EU debt crisis is making itself felt on domestic business. Many of our industrial clients are throttling production and ordering fewer chemicals," said the head of the VCI chemical industry federation, Klaus Engel.
"The only bright spot is in our overseas business where the momentum from flourishing markets in South America and China are helping to offset the decline in demand from southern Europe," Engel said.
In the second quarter of 2012, production was down 2.8% compared with the preceding three months and revenues declined by 0.5% to 45.2 billion euros (US$56.5 billion).
On the basis of the second-quarter figures, the federation said it was therefore expecting output to decline by 3% this year and with prices projected to rise by 2.5%, revenues would remain stable at 184 billion euros (US$230 billion).
The chemical sector in Germany employs 428,000 people.
Copyright Agence France-Presse, 2012