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Austrian chemical industry welcomes rising exports

Violes filled with liquids ©


June 30, 2011

The chemical industry registered a plus of 16% last year, completing its turnaround and closing at the level of 2008. The mood for 2011 is highly optimistic.

The chemical industry in Austria achieved a spectacular comeback in 2010. With the economic rebound, demand for chemical products rocketed – resulting in an increase of 16% in production value to EUR 14.2 billion. Exports also rose sharply, up by 16.7% against 2009 figures. This was particularly important for the chemical industry which generates 70% of revenue from foreign sales, with demand in Germany, the largest trade partner, and France particularly responsible for boosting business. In addition, levels of demand for chemical goods is increasing in CEE countries, along with exports to China, which rose by 40%, and to Brazil - Austria’s most important trade partner in South America - where they shot up by 54%.

The outlook is optimistic for Austria’s chemical industry and its 41,700-strong workforce in 2011 - they expect results to be at least as good or better than the previous year. A question mark does remain over forecasts, however, in light of uncertainty surrounding international conditions such as rising commodity prices and the scarcity of supply of some raw materials. In light of this, investment levels in the industry have been cautious, although these are expected to increase in 2011.

The chemical industry is one of Austria’s largest and most important industry sectors and is mostly made up of medium-sized enterprises employing an average 145 staff. The chemical industry is closely interlaced with foreign operations – countless companies have foreign offices all over the world or operate as subsidiaries for multinational companies, taking on the role of headquarters for Central and Eastern Europe.