The US was the biggest trade partner, importing European chemicals worth €8.8 billion (US$10.3 billion), a 16% rise from €7.6 billion (US$8.63 billion). Europe had a trade surplus with all the main trading regions, including NAFTA, the Asia-Pacific, China, Japan, Latin America and Africa, with imports totaling €28.2 billion (US$32.95 billion) in first quarter 2018.
The US was the largest exporter, its shipments worth €5.7 billion (US$6.69 billion), accounting for 20.2% of l European chemical imports in first quarter 2018. The chemical trade surplus rose by 6.8% to €12.6 billion (US14.78 billion), from €11.8 billion (US$13.8 billion) in first quarter 2017.
European chemicals exports rose by 6.5%, from US$134.8 billion in 2016 to US$143.4 billion in 2017, with growth in all segments, according to the CEFIC. Asian demand for European chemicals grew significantly, especially in China, and exports of consumer chemicals rose by 10%, followed by polymers with 8.9% growth.
Imports climbed by 8.3%, from US$90.3 billion in 2016 to US$98.5 billion, mainly from China, the US and Russia, according to the CEFIC. Specialty chemical imports rose by 11.2%, those of polymers by 10.7% and consumer chemicals by 8.4%, totaling US$460.9 billion.