Companies in this industry manufacture basic, intermediate, and specialty chemicals. Major companies include BASF (Germany), DowDupont (US), Formosa Plastics (Taiwan), Pfizer (US), Roche (Switzerland), SABIC (Saudi Arabia), and Sinopec (China).
Because chemicals are used to make a wide variety of industrial and consumer products, demand is driven by the overall health of the US economy. The profitability of individual companies is closely tied to efficient operations. Big companies have economies of scale in purchasing and production. Small companies can compete effectively by producing specialty products, of which there are a large number. The US industry is concentrated: the top 50 companies account for about 50% of revenue.
Products, Operations & Technology
Major product categories include pharmaceuticals and basic chemicals, each of which accounts for about 30% of US industry revenue. Other leading chemical product groups include resins and synthetic fibers, soaps and cleaning compounds; paints, coatings, and adhesives; and pesticides, fertilizers, and other agricultural chemicals.