Trends in the chemical industry

  • Global growth in line with expectations

The global chemical industry (excluding pharmaceuticals) grew by 3.5%, roughly on a level with our expectations at the beginning of 2017 (+3.4%) as well as the 2016 level (+3.4%). Chemical production in the E.U. expanded at a much faster rate as a result of growing demand from local customer industries and higher exports (2017: +3.8%; 2016: +0.4%). By contrast, the chemical industry in Asia saw lower growth (2017: +4.1%; 2016: +5.2%). Unusually strong growth in Japan, primarily from higher exports to China, was unable to completely offset the decline of growth in China. In North America, chemical production was negatively impacted by Hurricane Harvey, which led to significant production outages in the United States in the third quarter. Chemical production in the United States nevertheless rose by 2.9%.

Chemical production (excluding pharmaceuticals)
(Real change compared with previous year 1)
Chemical production (excluding pharmaceuticals), Real change compared with previous year (bar chart)

1 Figures that refer to previous years may deviate from last year’s report due to statistical revisions.