Global Overview for Chemical Products

October 2021

The briefing examines how the chemical products industry performs globally and in the largest countries in terms of chemical products output. The report also provides data for production, market size, imports, exports, industry’s costs, industry’s profitability and number of companies. The industry and market overview provide benchmarks against other countries in the region.

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Examining Three Trends Shaping the Chemical Products Industry


Stricter emission standards are being imposed globally, resulting in companies investing in more sustainable production. B2B buyers are expected to increasingly prioritise circularity, driving chemical companies to accelerate their decarbonisation technologies, re-evaluate their existing assets and renounce usage of hydrocarbons.

Volatility to oil price fluctuations

Low oil prices dragged down prices for chemicals derived from petroleum in 2020, illustrating the high volatility to oil price fluctuations within the sector. Moreover, oil plays a huge role in increasing or decreasing demand for chemicals. The competitiveness of production in regional terms is also highly reliant on oil prices, as oil remains a widely used feedstock within the global chemical industry.

Supply chain localisation and transformation

The COVID-19 pandemic has had a significant effect on the chemical industry’s global supply chains. To prevent further disruptions, companies seek to locate their supply chains within the nearby region. Moreover, governments are taking efforts to bring production back to their countries and investing in self-sufficiency.


Examining three trends shaping the chemical products industry
COVID-19: impact on chemical products industry
Chemicals among the most affected due to disrupted B2B demand an d low oil prices in 2020
Driven by Asia Pacific, global production value to fully recover in 2021
China and US continue to dominate global industry
Cost discipline to continue as profits remain under pressure
Exports growth slows amid price wars and increasing competition
Expanding B2B demand to drive imports growth in China
B2B demand drives market expansion in the Middle East and Africa
China Petroleum & Chemical Corp to remain in the leading position
Total number of companies declines due to consolidation
Industry concentration to remain low
China, US and Western Europe to drive future production value growth
Western Europe and Asia forecast to swiftly recover from the COVID-19 shock
Key future trends shaping the global industry
China : industry to witness significantly stronger growth
Basic chemicals and plastic in primary forms to drive industry’s growth in China
US : industry to witness significantly stronger growth
Basic chemicals to lead in production value growth in the US
Japan : industry’s production value to reach only by 2023
Basic chemicals to lead Japan’s chemical industry’s production value growth
South Korea : Industry remains resilient to COVID-19 shock
Basic chemicals set to underpin production value growth in South Korea
Germany : Industry’s growth to exceed pre-pandemic levels
Basic chemicals in Germany to perform strongly over the forecast period
India : Similar growth as before the pandemic outbreak
Basic chemicals to drive production value growth in India
Netherlands : Industry show steady growth exceeding the pre-pandemic levels
Photochemicals, explosives and other chemicals to rapidly grow in the Netherlands
Saudi Arabia : Strong growth above pre-COVID-19 levels
Plastic in primary forms and synthetic rubber to aid production value growth in Saudi Arabia
Iran: Diminishing production value in real terms due to weak currency and inflation
Petrochemicals to partly mitigate production value losses of Iranian chemical industry
Italy : Industry to rebound from a fall in production value
Basic chemicals to drive production value growth in Italy, yet issues persist


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