In this edition of Duff & Phelps' European Chemicals Update, we evaluate current trends for key raw materials, prevailing investor sentiment and valuation developments in the featured consumer specialty subsector.
- Key raw materials in the chemicals sector continued to improve in Q3/Q4 2020 despite seasonally low Q4 demand. The positive sentiment on demand recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic will likely continue to support Brent crude prices in the near term, but upside remains pressured by high inventory levels and surplus production capacity worldwide.
- The ifo Business Climate Index for the German chemical industry turned positive in Q4 2020, with current conditions continuing to improve from the lowest level in Q2 2020. Expectations on performance remained positive, with companies being confident in current business activities and remaining optimistic about the near future.
- In the consumer specialty subsector, featured companies show strong performance in market capitalization, with high double-digit gains in the last 12 months.