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UK manufacturing exporters see ‘green shoots’ in latest survey

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Chemical companies reported a second successive quarter of expansion at the end of 2020, according to a business survey of the Chemical Industries Association (CIA).
In the survey, 57% of businesses reported total sales growth and 26% reported no material change.
Within this, 84% reported stability or growth in domestic sales and 83% in exports.
More specifically, 87% saw growth or stability in EU exports and 84% reported a similar outlook for “rest of the world” markets.
Finally, over 40% of companies confirmed increases in production levels and new orders.
CIA CEO Steve Elliott said that the numbers reflected both the criticality of the industry to the economy and broader society in such a challenging environment, but also the hard work of chemical businesses across the UK. He said: “During the pandemic our industry has carried on working, underpinned by collectively agreed and carefully managed safety arrangements, enabling companies and their employees to conduct their business and do their jobs with confidence.
“With order books relatively strong - despite the disruption of COVID and our exit from the EU - all we ask is that supportive conditions for competitive advanced manufacturing are put in place to allow us to build on our resilient 2020 performance and enable us to play our part throughout 2021 in boosting productivity across the UK and deliver solutions to meet our net zero ambitions.”