Stable and Sustained Growth
During the period 1960 to 2010, chemical industry revenue in Germany increased from EUR 12 to EUR 171 billion (according to Feri AG and the German Chemical Industry Association – VCI); resulting in an average nominal growth rate of 5.4% per year (real growth rate: 3.1%). Over the same period, the number of employees decreased from 458,000 to 415,000; increasing productivity sixteen-fold indicated by revenue per employee levels of EUR 412,000 in 2010.
Global Production Leader
When it comes to chemical production locations, Germany is a global heavyweight, ranking first in Europe. With 2018 turnover of EUR 180 billion (VCI), the German chemical industry played a leading role in European performance, generating almost 1/3 of total EU-28 sales of EUR 565 billion. Germany has occupied the world number three spot in global chemical revenue ranking for a number of years, being surpassed only by China (EUR 1,198 billion) and the US (EUR 468 billion) in 2018.
“New” raw materials and energy and mobility: these 21st century megatrends offer enormous opportunities for Europe’s technology-driven chemical industry. Germany in particular will play a leading role in shaping these trends, thanks to the strong interdisciplinary character of German industry. This capability is vital, as cross-sector technologies and the development of new materials are an absolute necessity.
From Commodities to Specialties
The development away from mass commodity or bulk chemistry to fine & specialty chemical production can be best observed using a “push-and-pull” model. As a result of high cost pressure, the low-margin equipped mass commodity chemistry is increasingly pushed into the raw materials processing countries. At the same time, Europe has access to the necessary technologies and know-how required in the constantly growing specialty chemicals market. Europe, with Germany at the forefront, is proving very attractive to the specialty chemical industry.