Construction was the biggest end-user segment
Construction was the biggest end-user segment with total specialty revenues of USD 30 billion in 2017. Building industry is dominant consumer of plastic, adhesive, sealants, coatings, waterproofing compounds, morters, admixtures and grouts. More recently, over USD 4 billion has been invested by the World Bank Group’s International Finance Corporation (IFC) in the construction materials sector, which helped boost the availability of affordable local sources.
The manufacturer supplies distributors, in particular to reduce complexity in the fragmented market. The challenge of supplying a large number of products in different qualities and sizes to various customers is met by commodity and specialty chemical producers. Increasing globalisation, small and large-scale businesses have partnered with international businesses to achieve structurally efficient costs, competitive advantages and market shares. This is very important for the thriving construction sector and is a step towards constructing the physical infrastructure required for economic growth in countries worldwide. These factors have contributed to the demand for specialty chemicals in various construction and building applications, particularly in the Asia-Pacific and Central and South America regions. The leading final uses for commodities in 2017 were downstream intermediaries with a value of US Dollars 56 billion.
In several high-performance applications, specialty polymers, such as thermosets, composites, thermoplastics and resins, are more, with inherent of noise control, tensile resistance, viscosity and waterproofing. The exponential growth in the plastics industry throughout Asia Pacific has had a positive effect on the specialty chemical markets with the introduction of bio-based polymers. Due to the increasing requirements for adhesive products and sealants across the Asia-Pacific region in construction and automotive industries, the specialty chemicals sector is expected to remain the most growing applications segment.
North America accounted for 12% for global industry share
With regard to revenues, North America accounted for 12% for global industry share. In the next few years the region is expected to witness substantial growth due to the large supply rebalancing and revitalizing feedstock benefits of the industry. The U.S. market benefits from its shale gas feedstock operating costs after the economic recovery and thereby improves the profitability of chemical companies in the sector and attracts regional companies from other economies. The recent economic collapse of the euro area has given chemicals retailers an opportunity to explore overseas markets in a recovery process and increase their growth, creating economic instability and ambiguity. Demand is expected to be steadily increasing in Central and Eastern Europe (CEE) between 2018 and 2025. The EU’s transport infrastructure development policies are expected to be responsible for heavy investments in efficient freight channels, such as railways, ports and inland waterways.
The key industry players present in the global chemical distribution market include Helm AG; Univar, Inc.; ICC Chemicals, Inc.; Brenntag AG; Barentz B.V.; Nexeo Solution Holding LLC; Azelis Holding S.A. and Omya AG among others.