|Last Quarterly Update:||11/4/2013|
|SIC Codes:||5162, 5169|
|Industry Overview||Trends & Challenges||Industry Forecast|
|Quarterly Industry Update||Call Prep Questions||Website & Media Links|
|Business Challenges||Financial Information||Glossary & Acronyms|
Companies in this industry distribute plastics materials, alkalis and chlorine, detergents and soaps, adhesives, and industrial gases. Major companies include Nexeo Solutions and Univar (based in the US), as well as Brenntag and HELM (Germany), ITOCHU (Japan), and Sinochem (China).
Most large companies operate globally but their distribution networks are concentrated in a single region or country. China, the US, Japan, and Germany produce the most chemicals, but countries in Eastern Europe, Africa and the Middle East, and Asia/Pacific are expected to see the greatest production growth over the next several years. China and India should have the highest growth rates, followed by Brazil and Russia.
The US chemical wholesalers industry includes about 13,000 establishments (single-location companies and branches of multi-location companies) with combined annual revenue of about $175 billion.
Chemical distribution is a cyclical business dependent on industrial demand. The profitability of individual companies depends on an efficient distribution system. Larger companies can offer more products and services. Local and regional distributors can compete effectively through superior service or geographic focus. The US industry is concentrated: the largest 50 companies generate more than half of revenue.
Imports to the US of industrial chemicals and plastic resins, largely from Canada, Germany, Japan, and China, are substantial. Many of these imports move through chemicals distributors. Canada, Mexico, China, Belgium, and Japan are the top recipients of US chemical exports.
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