BASF Report 2022

Trends in Key Customer Industries

Disruptions in global supply chains gradually eased in 2022. How­ever, due to the zero-COVID policy in China and the lockdowns there in the second quarter of 2022, supply bottlenecks remained in global supply chains, for example, in the automotive and electronics industries. At the same time, demand for consumer durables in particular weakened over the course of the year. Industries such as furniture had seen frontloading effects here in recent years due to the coronavirus pandemic. In addition, declining purchasing power caused by inflation reduced demand from end consumers. In the construction sector, the continued dynamic upturn in construction costs and rising interest rates had a negative impact.

Global industrial production expanded by only 2.5% overall in 2022 (2021: +6.2%). At 0.9%, growth in the advanced economies was significantly weaker than in the emerging markets, which recorded growth of 3.8%. Despite the generally subdued economic environment in Asia, more than 60% of the growth in global indus­trial value added was generated there. Over 40% of growth came from China in 2022. Industrial growth was 3.2% in Asia as a whole and 3.8% in the emerging Asian economies. In the E.U., by contrast, industrial growth was slightly lower than the global average at 2.0% (2021: +7.0%) and in North America, it was even considerably lower at 1.2% (2021: +2.1%), mainly due to the weak construction sector.

Growth in key customer industries (Real change compared with previous year)




Industry total






Of which: automotive industry



Energy and resources






Consumer goods






Health and nutrition






Global automotive production was still impacted by supply bottlenecks for semiconductors in 2022. Overall, however, automotive production grew by around 4.8 million in 2022 to 82 million (+6.2%) manufactured passenger cars and light commercial vehicles. All markets grew except Eastern Europe (around 700,000 fewer vehicles produced). The strongest volume growth came from Asia. The world’s largest vehicle market added 3.3 million vehicles, an increase of 7.7%. Of this figure, China accounted for around 1.5 million vehicles and India for over 900,000. In China, sales were boosted by a reduction in sales tax. Almost 700,000 more vehicles (+5.7%) were produced in the E.U. and around 1.3 million more (+9.7%) in North America than in the previous year. In South America, the increase was around 200,000 vehicles (+8.5%). Around 75% of the total market growth of 4.8 million vehicles was attri­butable to purely battery-electric vehicles. Consequently, electric vehicles’ share of all vehicles produced rose from around 6% in 2021 to around 10%.

Production in the construction industry was impacted by rising interest rates and construction costs. At 2.2%, overall growth was weaker than in the previous year (+2.4%). The infrastructure segment grew significantly faster than residential construction and other building construction. In China, investment in residential construction declined, while infrastructure investment again posted considerable growth. In the E.U., by contrast, residential construction activity was still comparatively strong, although demand began to cool in the course of the year due to rising interest rates. In the United States, all construction segments declined as a result of high interest rates and restricted public budgets.

Consumer goods production grew by 3.1%, much slower than in the previous year (+8.8%). Demand weakened for consumer durables in particular. Production in the furniture and textile industries declined after having grown by more than 8% and around 5%, respectively, in the previous year. Production of chemicals used to manufacture care products grew at about the same rate as global GDP.

Growth in the electronics industry also weakened significantly (2022: 5.9%, 2021: 12.4%). In electronic components, computers and peripherals, communications electronics and consumer electronics, growth declined sharply compared with 2021. Double-digit growth rates were recorded in all segments in the previous year.

Production in the energy and raw materials sector increased by around 3.7% in 2022, slightly more than GDP. Weaker growth in Russia was offset by stronger production in the Middle East and the United States. Oil and gas production again saw strong growth after stagnating in 2021, while the production of other raw materials grew at a slightly slower rate than in the previous year.

Growth in health and nutrition was considerably weaker, declining from 5.9% to 2.3% in 2022. At 1.9%, production in the food industry grew at a slightly slower rate than the longer-term average and was significantly weaker than in the previous year, which was characterized by catch-up effects. In the pharmaceutical industry, growth fell sharply after the 2021 vaccine boom (+12.9%) but was still positive at 1.9%.

Agricultural production declined from 3.5% in the previous year to 2.3% in 2022. The slowdown was mainly due to the war in Ukraine and a long dry spell in some regions over the summer. As a result of the war, production in Ukraine fell by an estimated 35% and by 4.5% in Eastern Europe as a whole. Production also declined slightly in Western Europe and in the Americas. In Asia, by contrast, agricultural production grew by 3.7%.

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