Industry Trends Chemicals 2022

Market Monitor

  • China,
  • France,
  • Germany,
  • Italy,
  • Japan,
  • Netherlands,
  • Spain,
  • USA,
  • United Kingdom
  • Chemicals/Pharma

24th November 2022

Chemicals - global performance at a glance


Global Chemicals Output 2022 Graphs


Short-term challenges

  • Shortage of gas/gas rationing: The chemical industry is very energy intensive and requires high levels of natural gas as feedstock. There is looming uncertainty about the war in Ukraine and its destabilising effect on energy supply, for Europe in particular. Major gas shortage or gas rationing measures would severely affect European chemical producers.
  • Economic downturn in advanced economies: Persistent and broadening inflation pressures, and aggressive tightening from central banks in response, are increasingly weighing on the outlook for advanced economies. A persistent recession and ongoing high inflation could lead to sharply deteriorating chemicals demand from both consumers and key buyer industries such as automotive and construction.

Mid-and long-term outlook: opportunities and challenges

  • Regional cost competiveness: The US shale gas boom has restructured the landscape of the global chemical industry, particularly for basic chemicals. The US chemical industry has a feedstock cost advantage due to low and more stable gas prices, attracting larger investments. Other regions, in particular Europe, are facing a long-term competitive disadvantage.
  • Rising middle class in emerging markets: Rapid urbanization and increasing household purchasing power of the middle class in emerging markets should boost demand for soaps and detergents products.
  • Energy transition and sustainability concerns: This will create challenges and opportunities for chemical business as companies face tighter regulatory directives and changing customer preferences. There is growing demand for ‘green’ and ethical products. This includes consumers asking where ingredients come from and assessing environmental impacts. Companies are facing major investments in decarbonisation and optimisation of their carbon footprint. Pressure from various stakeholder groups is increasing, and ESG performance is expected to be benchmarked as highly as cost and other productivity metrics.


Related documents


Each publication available on or from our websites, such as, but not limited to webpages, reports, articles, publications, tips and helpful content, trading briefs, infographics, videos (each a “Publication”) is provided for information purposes only and is not intended as a recommen¬dation or advice as to particular transactions, investments or strategies in any way to any reader. Readers must make their own independent decisions, commercial or otherwise, regarding the information provided. While we have made every attempt to ensure that the information contained in any Publication has been obtained from reliable sources, Atradius is not responsible for any errors or omissions, or for the results obtained from the use of this information. All information in any Publication is provided ’as is’, with no guarantee of completeness, accuracy, timeliness or of the results obtained from its use, and without warranty of any kind, express or implied. In no event will Atradius, its related partnerships or corporations, or the partners, agents or employees thereof, be liable to you or anyone else for any decision made or action taken in reliance on the information in any Publication, or for any loss of opportunity, loss of profit, loss of production, loss of business or indirect losses, special or similar damages of any kind, even if advised of the possibility of such losses or damages.