A renewed focus on sustainability
As the chemical industry moves into 2022, strong demand for both commodity and specialty chemicals should keep prices robust throughout the year. The industry could face margin pressures amid raw material cost inflation, which will likely remain high through the first half of 2022.
One of the critical areas of focus for most US chemical companies in 2022 will likely be sustainability and decarbonization. Many chemical companies are expected to increase investment in research and development (R&D) capabilities and leverage advances in decarbonization and recycling technologies to lower their and their customers’ carbon footprint, as well as reduce plastic waste.
Supply chain challenges are acute and still unfolding. There’s no mistaking that manufacturers face near-continuous disruptions globally that add costs and test abilities to adapt. Purchasing manager reports continue to reveal systemwide complications from high demand, rising costs of raw materials and freight, and slow deliveries in the United States. Transportation challenges are likely to continue in 2022, including driver shortages in trucking and congestion at US container ports. As demand outpaces supply, higher costs are more likely to be passed on to customers.
New avenues are opening
The renewable energy sector is ready to branch out. The year ahead promises new growth paths for the renewable energy industry, potentially aided by supportive policies from an administration focused on combatting climate change.
In 2021, the renewable energy industry remained remarkably resilient. Rapid technology improvements and decreasing costs of renewable energy resources, along with the increased competitiveness of battery storage, have made renewables one of the most competitive energy sources in many areas.
Renewable energy growth is poised to accelerate in 2022, as concern for climate change and support for environmental, sustainability, and governance (ESG) considerations grow and demand for cleaner energy sources from most market segments accelerates.
The European Chemicals Agency (ECHA) has amended the Prior Informed Consent (PIC) Regulation, EU 64/2012, to add 27 pesticides and eight industrial chemicals into Annex I, bringing the total to 295. As a result, EU exporters are now required to notify their intentions to export them from 1 November onwards.
The global custom synthesis and manufacturing market was valued at US$271.33 billion in 2022. The market value is expected to reach US$474.94 billion by 2028.
The ocean freight industry is undergoing a massive transformation, as the technology and supply chain management tools are being improved by the day, impacting ocean freight rates.
In the second half of 2022, China unveiled the details of its data export regulations, providing further explanations to its existing laws and regulations on data.
The current energy crisis has reached an unsustainable level for the European chemical industry. For the first time ever, the EU imports more chemicals than it exports, both in volume and value, resulting in a trade deficit of € 5.6 bn for the first half of 2022.
Endocrine Disrupting Chemicals (also referred to as hormone disruptors or EDCs) are synthetic chemicals that are not produced by the human body and that disrupt the normal functioning of humans and animals.
The shipping industry is now returning to normality and is in a downward spiral. The cost of shipping goods from China has slumped to the lowest level in more than two years as the world economy stumbles, dimming prospects for container carriers that turned in record profits during the pandemic.
No precipitous plunge in container shipping rates, just ‘orderly’ decline.
The global food and beverage market size is expected to grow from $5.8 trillion in 2021 to $6.4 trillion in 2022 at a growth rate of 9.7%. The food and beverage market size is expected to grow to $8.9 trillion in 2026 at a compound annual growth rate of 8.7%.