The $2 trillion chemicals industry continues to face challenges as it attempts to rebound from its worst year ever in 2009. The drop-off in demand appears to have bottomed out, but the damage has been done. Demand is rising, but in severely depressed levels — in some cases, declining by 40 percent. Most new growth is in Asia; Middle East producers continue to enjoy competitive advantages, while many assets in North America and Europe are severely impaired.
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Chemicals companies face a formidable challenge: delivering profitable growth in a hypercompetitive, low-growth world.
Several future trends are colliding or combining to create significant change for the chemicals industry, and many of the established players are becoming increasingly aware that tomorrow's industry will look very different from how it does today.
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The energy industry’s performance has plateaued recently, but a new approach can help. Instead of limiting the accountability for safety and environmental factors to an isolated function, this model shifts the responsibility to front-line workers.
M&A activity has significantly shaped the chemical industry landscape in the recent past, and it will continue to do so. To succeed in this environment, chemicals companies must build the right capabilities along the full M&A life cycle.
This perspective is the first in a Strategy& series exploring the state of the chemical industry today.
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PwC’s strategy consulting team Strategy& has extensive experience with large, international chemical corporations, having acted as an independent senior advisor on corporate strategy, investment portfolio decisions, and operational improvements. We support our clients with a global team possessing deep capability-based expertise in all major chemical industry sectors. find out more >
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