The CBA Supply Chain Trends Survey for March 2016

21 March 2016


As Associate Members of The Chemical Business Association, we were delighted to participate in the recent CBA business trends survey, and are pleased to present their findings

The Chemical Business Association’s (CBA) Supply Chain Trends Survey for March 2016, reports that order books are improving and will lead to higher future sales – but at lower margins.  The previously reported rising trend in job creation seems to be slowing.

CBA’s Chairman, Christopher Hayman said, "Our latest survey reveals a welcome increase in order book volumes, but it is clear that the market will remain highly competitive and price sensitive in the immediate future.  For the first time, our survey has confirmed that member companies’ investment in current and future levels of training is increasing."

The following results are based on responses from 43 member companies to an on-line survey conducted during the two weeks to 9 March 2016.   


Future order volumes recovering

The March 2016 survey shows future order volumes recovering from their sharp fall in the final quarter of 2015.  CBA member companies now reporting higher order book levels provides a positive balance of +21% - almost twice the level in reported in the last survey (+11%).


Current sales continue to fall; higher future sales forecast

Over the last three months, sales for CBA member companies have continued to fall with the March 2016 survey showing a positive balance of +9% of companies experiencing higher current sales - compared with +18% in the last survey.  However, companies are more optimistic on the outlook for future sales, with a positive balance of +30% forecasting increased sales over the next three months – an increase on the +14% positive balance in the last survey.


Current margins improve but not forecast to continue

The March survey reveals a slight improvement in current sales margins with a positive balance of +9% reporting higher margins over the last three months. Sales margins are expected to fall during the next three months with a negative balance of -14% forecasting a lower return on sales. 


Momentum of job creation slowing

The outlook for employment remains positive though the momentum of job creation is slowing with +12% of respondents expecting to employ more people over the next three months, as opposed to +28% of respondents in the last survey.  


Investment in current and future training higher

CBA members report they have undertaken higher levels of training in the last three months compared with the previous quarter, resulting in positive balance of +30%.  This level of investment in training is forecast to continue, with a positive balance of +32% of respondents reporting higher levels of training in the coming three months.

For membership opportunities at The Chemical Business Association contact Karen Harvey

Chemical Business Association

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