European Chemical Industry Facts & Figures

The chemical industry is not only one of Europe’s largest manufacturing sectors, but is also an extremely valuable part of Europe’s economy that plays a pivotal role in providing innovative materials and technological solutions to deliver a low carbon and circular economy to support Europe’s industrial competitiveness and also beyond Europe’s borders.

The EU Chemicals industry has sales amounting to €565 billion (2018), which is about 17% of global chemicals sales and provides 1.2 million direct highly-skilled jobs while also generating a trade surplus of €45 billion (2018). However, this sector is facing many challenges such as access to critical inputs such as energy and raw materials, coordination issues between policies and regulation issues.

world chemical sales

We can see how the sector is currently facing major challenges from increased competition from other countries and from rising costs. China overtook the EU as the world’s largest chemicals producer for the first time in 2009 and has continued to take more and more market share since 2009 going from 18.2% market share in 2008 to 35.8% market share in 2018.

world chemical sales by region

As such, from the rise of China, we can see how the world market share of EU chemical sales have dropped by half from 33% in 1998 to 17% in 2018 even thought global chemical sales are actually three times bigger in 2018 than 20 years ago. This trend is expected to continue in the future as data analysis shows that China will expect strong chemicals demand growth while Europe and North America will expect low growth.

eu share of global chemicals market

While the EU may be facing a downturn, the upcoming Horizon Europe has the potential to revolutionise Europe into a global innovation hub with many different sectors being included and achieving funding. We here at PMO Partners will be providing updates and news about Horizon Europe so please contact us for more information regarding anything about the upcoming Horizon Europe.

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