China Is Back As the Leading Consumer of Specialty Chemicals

Oct 16th, 2017

In 2016 the specialty chemicals global market is estimated at $ 556 billion, the key performance drivers of which are the increasing purchasing power of the Chinese spending group and strong demand for personal electronics across the globe.

According to the latest IHS Markit research, global specialty market is underway towards growth. The agency views this market segment through the prism of the function and performance of the specially formulated chemicals.

The market met a slight decline in 2016 (-0.2%) contrasted to the previous year. The analysts explain it by the recession in some South American countries, the depression of Chinese economic activity, the spotty construction market and weakened position of the global oil and gas industries.

On a global scale, in 2016 the market value of electronic chemicals, industrial and institutional chemical cleaners and polymers, accounted for $40-45 billion each.  $30 billion each valued catalysts, construction chemicals, coatings, flavours and fragrances, surfactants and water soluble polymers. The market of food additives totalled $25 billion. While electronic chemicals sector driven by strong demand, became more entrenched, the consumption of oilfield chemicals, impacted by the decline in prices for crude oil, weakened by 4%.

$270 billion, a half of the global effect chemicals market value, is shared by Japan, North America and Western Europe. However, the market shares of Western Europe and Japan have been steadily declining within the last five years. Yet effect chemicals market share in China has considerably grown and now is totalled 23% which almost matches North America share of the market.

In 2016, construction, electrical and electronics, food and beverages, household and cosmetics) were the only leading end-use industries at the global specialty chemicals market. Along with them, automotive industry, gas and oil producing, plastic products, printing and publishing were among the most robust consumers of specialty chemical materials.

The specialty chemicals global market is forecast to grow annually by 2021. China will have the fastest growing demand for the chemicals with a market share growth potential which by 2021 will beat that of North America. In terms of major market players, BASF, Dow Chemical and DuPont make up a top three of the global.