Future of chemicals I: An overview

Published: July 28, 2009

Executive summary

The global chemical industry is one of the world’s largest industrial sectors, generating annual sales of more than €1,800 trillion (US$2.5 trillion) and contributing as much as 10 percent of European industry GDP. The chemical industry, supplier of literally tens of thousands of raw materials and developer of some of the most advanced forms of technology, was among the first industries hit by the economic crisis in late 2008, with basic chemicals output falling by 18 percent in the fourth quarter.

The magnitude of the recession and the leading role that the chemical industry plays in global economic activities lead us to fully expect a transformation in chemical industry dynamics over the coming years. Changes to the competitive landscape and global value chains will compel chemical companies to restructure their businesses, revise their strategies, achieve greater levels of efficiency, reduce net working capital, and minimize capital expenditures. The crisis will force chemical companies to restructure their businesses, revise their strategies, achieve greater levels of efficiency, reduce net working capital, and minimize capital expenditures. The magnitude of the recession and the leading role that the chemicals industry plays in global economic activities lead us to expect a major transformation of the chemicals industry over the coming years, resulting in changes to the competitive landscape and global value chains.

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Future of chemicals I: An overview