Chemicals & Materials Market – Industry Trends, Outlook, Regulatory Bodies & Regulations and Key Market Players

The industry of chemicals & materials forms the basis of various industries such as construction, transportation, food and beverages, pharmaceuticals, electronics, healthcare, utilities, and oil & gas. The market consists of a number of components and sub components within its large portfolio. A chemical compound is a distinct substance or compound that is artificially  manufactured or purified, whereas a material is a compound from which other complex materials are made. Chemicals, organic and inorganic in nature, form the building blocks of  different kinds of materials. Widely used materials include ceramics, adhesives, metals, composites, polymers, and glasses. . Chemicals and materials, independently or in combination with each other find a wide range of application across various end-use industries such as automotive, power & energy, agriculture, food & beverages, instrumentation, consumer goods, aerospace & defense, healthcare, and IT. The global chemicals and materials market has wide range of application areas such as dental silica, flow aids, crop protection, animal nutrition, active pharmaceutical ingredients, dietary supplements, preservatives, flame retardants, surface ingredients, and matting agents among others.

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Asia Pacific is expected to retain its dominant position in the chemicals & materials market over the forecast period (2016 – 2024), spearheaded by China, India, and Japan due to rampant growth of end-use industries.

Chemicals & Materials Market Outlook – Surge in Electronics and Construction Chemicals Industries Augmenting Market Growth

Increasing demand for electronic devices across the globe, especially in key regions such as North America, Asia Pacific and the Middle East, is driving demand for electronic chemicals. Electronic chemicals such as PCB laminate, silicon wafer, specialty gases, and wet chemicals are widely used in a wide number of electronic applications such as computers, electronic circuit, diodes, capacitors, home appliances, and entertainment systems. Asia Pacific contributes the largest share in electronics market, which is the largest end-user segment for electronic chemicals.  Countries in the region that boost market growth include China, Japan, Taiwan, South Korea, and India. However, the markets in North America and Europe are expected to witness slower growth rate over the forecast period.

Construction chemicals are chemicals used to enhance the quality of the structure by providing resistance against dry heat and wet climate, and protection against fire. Population explosion in countries such as India and China, along with rapid economic growth in these countries, has fueled demand for infrastructure and construction, in turn  increasing the number of infrastructural development activities. This, in turn, creates a highly conducive environment for growth of the chemicals and materials market..  Growing urbanization, lends demand for construction chemicals such as concrete admixtures, adhesives, and sealants, in turn, fueling growth of the chemicals and materials market. North America and Europe markets are expected to witness moderate growth rate, due to stagnant economy of the developed countries. However, the market in the Middle East is expected to witness significant growth due to high investment in infrastructure development and abundant raw materials reserves within the region.

Chemicals & Materials Market Challenges – Reduce Environmental Impact

Effective and eco-friendly mode of waste disposal, adopted by various regions, act as  a key challenge for chemicals & materials manufacturing companies. Stringent laws are enforced on the disposal, only after treatment of all wastewater, gases, and semi-solid waste. The Ministry of Environment and Forest (MoEF) of India, on December 23, 2010, implemented water prevention and control pollution act 1974 and air prevention and control pollution act 1981. These impose stringent regulatory framework for manufacturers and end-users regarding production, import, export, and storage of hazardous chemicals & materials. This significantly increases costs associated with production, which in turn affects profitability of manufacturers in this highly competitive market, in turn inhibiting market growth.

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Key players in the chemicals & materials market include BASF-SE, The Dow Chemical Company, Sinopec, SABIC, ExxonMobil, Formosa Plastics, LyondelBasell Industry, DuPont, Ineos, Bayer, Mitsubishi Chemicals, Royal Dutch Shell, LG Chem Ltd., Braskem, Air liquid, AkzoNobel, The Linde Group, Sumitomo Chemicals, Mitsui Chemicals, Evonik Industries. The chemicals & materials industry is highly fragmented, with a large number of global players and regional players. In the recent past, the market has witnessed a trend of consolidation through strategic mergers and acquisitions. For instance, in March, 2017, the European Union approved the proposed merger of Dow Chemical and DuPont as part of a US$ 62 billion deal. The companies were subsequently segmented  into three separate publicly traded companies, which focus on agriculture, material science, and specialty chemicals, respectively.

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