COVID-19 Impact Analysis of the U.S. Structural Pest Control Market
The petrochemical industry is one of the largest subsectors of the chemical industry. As the chemical industry grows, the future of petrochemicals is faced with a series of major challenges. However, the world continues to consume and the need for petrochemical products continues to rise. Although developed economies are turning towards sustainable sources of energy and fuel, preparing for this change can lead the future of petrochemicals towards growth.
Over the past few years, as prices have dropped globally, petrochemical industry producers have been faced with major losses. More recently, the global pandemic, Covid-19 has caused major losses to industries and economies across the globe. With petrochemicals being the source of, and a crucial ingredient in various major industries that have come to a jarring halt, the industry has suffered substantially Industry research experts at Infiniti suggest efficient market intelligence solutions and brand strategies for petrochemical manufacturers to see the industry through to its potential return to growth.
The petrochemicals industry is faced with a wide range of challenges currently. Learn how Infiniti can help petrochemicals producers strategize and develop actionable solutions to overcome these challenges. Request more information to propel the future of petrochemicals in the right direction.
As of 2019, the US, Germany, Belgium, France, Netherlands, China, India, the UK, Japan, Saudi Arabia, Indonesia, Brazil, and South Korea were the major contributors to the global petrochemical industry. Over the recent months, all these countries have seen a steady fall in demand and prices, which in turn has made returning to their previous standard challenging, and growth seem like a distant possibility. However, the growth of the future of petrochemicals can be possible if the appropriate steps are taken.
Key Challenges of the Petrochemicals Industry
Infiniti’s research experts believe growth in the future of petrochemicals is possible, if appropriately strategized. However, it is important to first understand the major challenges of the industry. The following three current and major challenges are affecting the petrochemical industry globally.
- Advantaged Feedstock Opportunities: As North America and the Middle East move to alternative options for raw materials and chemicals, such as liquid feedstocks, naphtha, gasoil, or mixed gas/oil feedstock. Being the two largest markets for advantaged feedstock opportunities, the toll on the future of petrochemicals is vast.
- Maturing Economies: It is estimated that as economies continue to mature, the demand for the chemical industry will reduce substantially. Taking the chemicals industry giant China as an example, progress of their economy has slowed down, however, it continues to grow. As it continues to grow, the investment on infrastructure and other industries that use petrochemicals will reduce, while more service -based development will become the focal point. The service and upgrade-based economy has very low demand for the petrochemicals industry.
- COVID-19: With the recent global pandemic, manufacturing, construction, travelling, and other major industries that require petrochemicals as a raw material have slowed down, if not come to a halt. Europe, the US, and China stopped travel, transport, and manufacturing for substantial amounts of time, taking a major toll on the future of petrochemicals.
Speak to our experts, to gain in-depth insights into the challenges faced by the future of petrochemicals.
The Future of Petrochemicals
The future of petrochemicals is highly dependent on the strategic approach employed by petrochemicals manufacturers. To propel growth in the future of petrochemicals, the following three changes are crucial:
Adapting to Change
As industries evolve and move away from advantaged feedstock demands, and investment increases in other raw materials, it is important for producers to evolve as well. Petrochemical producers with a cohort in the gas-based sector are more likely to evolve and grow with the changes in the industry. As the industry shifts to ethylene cracker investments based liquid feedstocks such as, naphtha, gasoil, and heavier feedstocks, returns will be closer to cost-of-capital. To therefore cope with this change, petrochemical producers must return to their innovative roots, and invest in developing the alternatives that the future of petrochemicals demands.
Digitizing and Analytics
As the industry changes, so should the approach of players within the industry. While innovation is essential, so is re-evaluating current systems and finding opportunities for higher returns within them. Digitization is an important change for all industries in the COVID and post-COVID era. However, the petrochemical industry has highly complex and integrated operations, that can be majorly improved through digitization. Further, applying advanced analytics can help improve commercial processes, and operations.
Market Intelligence Solutions for the Petrochemical Industry
Developing strategic plans and effectively executing all operations while accounting for market trends and changes within the industry is possible. Market Intelligence Solutions can assist petrochemical industry manufacturers change the future of petrochemicals for the better. Infiniti’s industry research experts can assist petrochemical producers achieve the following:
- Understand upcoming and impacting market trends
- Profile and understand competitors’ strategies
- Appropriately prepare for regulation changes
- Identify the ideal opportunities and clients
- Reduce time to market
- Prepare efficient operation and brand strategies
Our market intelligence solutions have proven to be highly effective and helpful in establishing brand strategies for petrochemical industry players. As petrochemical producers attempt to improve the future of petrochemicals, utilizing appropriate market intelligence solutions and strategizing appropriately is highly crucial to them.
As petrochemicals producers work to recover from and grow past the recent years of loss faced by the industry, they must devise strategies and solutions that can help the future of petrochemicals. Request a free proposal to leverage Infiniti’s market intelligence solutions and develop efficient strategies.
With most parts of Canada on lockdown due to the COVID-19 outbreak, many industries are looking at a chain reaction of unprecedented changes. And, the Canadian chemical industry is hardly an exception. The economic impact of the COVID-19 outbreak on Canada is far-reaching. As such, Canadian chemical companies are in the need to take actions to ensure they remain afloat in this challenging time. Besides, chemical manufacturing companies in Canada must thoroughly monitor the current situation and respond accordingly by implementing business continuity plans.
This success story highlights how our inventory management solution helped a Canadian chemical industry client to create transparency on the multitier supply chain, estimate the inventory along the supply chain, devise a demand-forecast strategy, and manage cash and net working capital.
Supply chain leaders in the Canadian chemical industry must ensure the dynamic monitoring of forecasts in order to react quickly to inaccuracies. Our market intelligence experts can help you achieve this strategic objective. RFP here.
The client is a chemical manufacturing firm based out of Canada.
A Canadian chemical industry client faced challenges in creating transparency on the multitier supply chain, estimating available inventory along the value chain, assessing realistic final customer demand, and securing logistics capacity owing to the COVID-19 crisis. Also, the Canadian chemical industry client faced difficulties in developing a demand-forecast strategy, obtaining realistic insights into base chemical products demand, and ensuring dynamic monitoring of forecasts in order to react quickly to inaccuracies caused by the COVID-19 outbreak. Consequently, the company encountered a huge decline in profit margins. The client, therefore, wanted to take immediate end-to-end supply chain actions to combat the impact of COVID-19. They sought to collaborate with Infiniti Research to leverage their expertise in offering inventory management solution.
Other key objectives of the Canadian chemical industry client were:
- To assess the risk of interruption from Tier 1 and Tier 2 suppliers
- To identify alternative suppliers for meeting demand-supply requirements
- To reduce exposure to potential cost increases
- To find a reliable demand signal to determine the necessary supply
- To test different capacity and production scenarios to understand their financial and operational implications
- To project the financial and operational implications of a prolonged shutdown
- To better match production and supply-chain planning with the expected demand
- To maintain a nimble approach to logistics management
As COVID-19 pandemic continues to spread worldwide, business leaders must revisit their supply chain strategies and build capabilities to respond to immediate challenges. We can help you to build a resilient supply chain. Contact us here.
Our Integrated Approach
Infiniti’s inventory management solution involved a five-phased approach.
In the initial phase, the experts worked closely with the client’s operations and production teams to review bills of materials (BoM) and catalogue components. This phase also involved identifying components sourced from high-risk areas, determining the origin of supply, and evaluating supply chain complexities.
The next phase involved estimating the inventory along the value chain. This also involved identifying finished goods held in warehouses and raw materials with quality issues. Besides, this phase involved identifying the Canadian chemical industry client’s key suppliers and understanding their ability to meet supply requirements.
The third phase of the inventory management solution involved leveraging advanced statistical forecasting to obtain a realistic insight into base demand and developing a demand-forecast strategy. This phase also involved gaining visibility into the Canadian chemical industry client’s Tier 2 suppliers as they would impact the order fulfilment process of Tier 1 suppliers.
The fourth phase of the inventory management solution involved identifying alternative suppliers in non-impacted regions of the world and activating secondary supplier relationships to secure additional critical inventory.
The last phase of the inventory management solution involved refining the Canadian chemical industry client’s inventory strategy to mitigate the risks of supply shortages while balancing cash flows and perishability.
With Infiniti’s inventory management solution, the client was able to identify the company’s key direct suppliers and understand their ability to meet supply requirements and potential risks. Also, the client was able to enhance workforce planning and focus on Tier 1 suppliers. Besides, the Canadian chemical industry client was able to work with Tier 1 suppliers on alternative plans and proactively alter supply chain plans to keep manufacturing running at maximum efficiency. As recommended by the experts at Infiniti Research, the client embraced new digital approaches to illuminate the supplier network and gain visibility to critical component supply.
The client was also able to understand and activate alternate sources of supply. Also, the Canadian chemical industry client was able to update inventory policy and planning parameters. Besides, they were able to refine their inventory strategy to mitigate the risks of supply shortages while balancing cash flows and perishability.
The experts recommended the Canadian chemical industry client to develop modularized production units that can be mobilized across different sites to help manage supply shortages during times of such crisis. In addition to this, the client was able to obtain a realistic insight into base demand, ensure dynamic monitoring of forecasts to react quickly to inaccuracies, and optimize production and distribution capacity. With Infiniti’s inventory management solution, the client was also able to create transparency on the multitier supply chain, estimate the inventory along the supply chain, demand a demand-forecast strategy, and manage cash and net working capital.
Request more info to know more about our business continuity solutions for combating the impact of COVID-19.
China’s chemical industry overview
Although the economic expansion in China has slowed down over the past few years, it still remains a key growth market for most global chemical companies. Industry experts believe that over the next decade, China will continue to be one of the major importers of commodity chemicals. Furthermore, international chemical companies have advanced and more sophisticated products that can support the further stages of China’s economic development. However, international companies in China’s chemical sector have new challenges coming their way. Companies in China are increasingly moving out of low-profit commodity segments towards more sophisticated sectors. They are also enjoying several home-player advantages in the highly competitive market. In this article, chemical industry experts at Infiniti Research provide an outline of the moves that international chemical companies must make in order to continue capturing profitable growth opportunities in China’s chemical market. International chemical companies that want to create a place for themselves in China’s chemical market must align their products and business models with China’s evolving needs, learn how to access the shifting demand, and strategize to expand and strengthen their base in this market.
Adapt to the market’s changing needs
There will be a continued demand growth for chemicals in China. But the areas of opportunity in the country’s chemical market appear to be increasingly nuanced, due to which chemical companies must take measures to adapt and align their strategies accordingly. One approach to achieve this is by focusing on the company’s products that match up with China’s chemical industry needs and what the Chinese state is promoting. The chemical industry is a catalyst to promote growth in various strategic industries such as electric vehicles, new energy technologies, and civil aviation that the Chinese government wants to nurture growth globally. As such, this opens new windows of opportunity for international chemical companies to become China’s trusted partners in native innovations in industries that have government backing. International chemical companies can also work closely with government bodies in China to form product specifications based on the changing standards or rules in the region. This could prove to be a new growth driver for chemical companies.
Manage stakeholders proactively
Chemical companies that want to sustain and grow their business in China’s chemical market must work and maintain positive relations with several stakeholders. This includes stakeholders across the country’s business and regulatory landscape. New plant launches and product approvals especially in regulated product categories require comprehensive rounds of approval from government authorities as well as state-run research institutions. Therefore, it is vital for international chemical companies to ensure proactive stakeholder management. Successful chemical companies are even going to the extent of hiring government-affairs teams to identify the key stakeholders in all areas that are related to their business operations in China. These teams understand stakeholder concerns and work on ways to address them in time so that hinderances to the company’s project can be avoided.
Choosing the right distribution partners
Businesses in China are generally heavily relationship-driven. As a result, it is vital for international chemical companies to have a local presence especially in new markets and business verticals. To gain a better foothold in China, chemical companies must focus on building a distribution partner network through which they can get to customers with ease and provide unique offerings in the highly competitive marketplace. Having the right distribution partners are critical as relationships, dependability and ethics vary sharply among different players in the market.
Market Intelligence Engagement for the Chemical Industry
Intensifying globalization is opening up new opportunities for companies in the chemical industry. However, ambiguity across global chemical markets, pricing pressures, and fluctuating regulatory landscape are increasing challenges for chemical manufacturing companies to stay relevant in the market. As a result, it is becoming imperative for companies in the chemical industry to adapt quickly to evolving market changes and embrace new market opportunities.
The client is a chemical manufacturer based out of Germany. With the landscape of the chemical industry continually changing, the client was facing challenges in quickly adapting to transformations and maintaining a competitive edge. Also, the client’s inability to realign their business operations with evolving chemical market demands impacted their overall profit margins. The company was also losing their market share to their competitors. The client, therefore, realized the need to conduct a market intelligence engagement to track emerging market trends, regional market developments, forecast supply-demand shifts, and keep tabs on target market segments.
Other challenges faced by the chemical manufacturer were:
Chemical industry challenge #1
Unanticipated variations in commodity prices – Unexpected fluctuations in prices of crude oil and natural gas were affecting the company’s production process. This subsequently resulted in huge capital losses for the company. The client, therefore, wanted to stay abreast of rising costs and market trends to sustain a healthy bottom line.
Chemical industry challenge #2
Increasing number of recalls and quality audits – As companies in the chemical industry are exposed to a variety of government and other regulatory compliance, it was becoming important for the client to maintain strict quality management to equip themselves for quality audits. Therefore, with Infiniti’s market intelligence solution, they wanted to keep track of evolving regulatory changes in related service sectors.
Chemical industry challenge #3
Forecast supply-demand shifts – With Infiniti’s market intelligence solution, the client wanted to analyze the regional market developments and market demands to accurately forecast supply-demand shifts. By doing so, the company in the chemical industry wanted to better manage inventory activities.
As part of market intelligence engagement, the experts at Infiniti Research conducted a detailed analysis of the chemical industry in Germany. The factors such as industry growth rate, latest trends and innovations, opportunities, and challenges were taken into consideration during the analysis. Also, the experts analyzed the client’s market size, supply chain requirements, and competitive landscape.
With Infiniti’s market intelligence engagement, the client was able to gain a comprehensive view of the market and their customers. The experts also helped the company in the chemical industry to explore new opportunities in the market. By understanding the needs and requirements of the market, the client was able to take confident capital investment decisions. Also, the chemical manufacturer was able to optimize their product offerings and operate safely and sustainably.
Furthermore, with Infiniti’s market intelligence solution, the company in the chemical industry was able to understand the potential market demand and accurately forecast supply-demand shifts. Also, by keeping track of the changing economic and governmental policies, the company in the chemical industry was able to smoothly undergo quality audits. Also, Infiniti’s market intelligence solution helped the company to withstand unexpected fluctuation in the market, enhance inventory planning, and increase reliability across operations. Within the course of one year, the client was able to reduce operational cost by 20% and achieve savings of $4.8 million.
The Future of the Chemical Industry
Chemicals are usually looked upon with an evil eye in the modern world. People are worried about environmental safety and health issues that are brought about by harmful chemicals. In addition to that, chemical companies themselves are struggling when it comes to the safe disposal of toxic substances and leakages. It comes as no surprise that people all over the world prefer organic goods in a bid to avoid such harmful chemicals. However, the truth is that chemicals are omnipresent, and cannot be avoided, as it essential in the manufacturing of infrastructure, electronic devices, household items, and even the food we consume. As a result, the concept of green chemistry has emerged to soften the impact of harmful chemicals on the environment and human health. Green chemistry or sustainable chemistry focuses on designing products and processes that minimize the generation or use of hazardous substances. It is different from environmental chemistry as it focuses more on technology to prevent pollution and reduce the consumption of non-renewable resources.
12 Principles of Green Chemistry
The saying “prevention is better than cure” is true not only in the healthcare industry but also the chemical industry. It is essential in green chemistry to design processes that reduce wastages as it is better to prevent it in the first place than to treat or clean up the waste after its creation.
All chemicals in green chemistry are a result of reactions at an atomic level. So by figuring out the atoms that are incorporated into the final product and the atoms that are wasted, the efficiency of the reaction can be increased. Manufacturers need to measure the atom economy percentage, which can be calculated by analyzing the formula weight of the atom utilized and all other reactants.
Atom economy = (FW of atoms utilized/FW of all reactants) X 100
Less hazardous chemical syntheses
This principle outlines that wherever applicable, synthetic methods should be used since they possesses little or no toxins that affect the environment or human health. The chemical industry may face difficulty in implementing this green chemistry principle as chemists usually work with highly toxic substances that have no substitute. However, it can be practiced by paying attention to the materials used for bring about chemical transformation.
Designing safer chemicals
Players in the greeb chemistry chemical industry should strive to reduce the toxicity of their final product without compromising on their functional efficacy. The green chemistry chemical industry often prefers highly reactive chemicals as they affect molecular transformation. However, it may also react with unintended elements in the environment or humans.
Safer solvents and auxiliaries
Avoiding the use of auxiliary substances like solvents and separation agents whenever possible is one of the most important principles of green chemistry. Although reactions may not proceed without the use of solvents or mass separation agents, players in the green chemistry chemical industry can opt to use safer auxiliaries.
Design for energy efficiency
Chemical companies should design their products to consume less energy to decrease the overall environmental and economic impact. Green chemistry can be achieved by using synthetic methods at ambient temperature and pressure. Improving the green chemistry energy efficiency in the chemical manufacturing process will reduce the dependency on fossil fuels.
Use of renewable feedstocks
Although the concept of producing fuels and chemicals from feedstocks that never deplete seems impracticable, it is not entirely impossible. This green chemistry principle can become a reality due to developments in biotechnology, physics, agronomy, toxicology, and engineering. As a result, in green chemistry it allows chemical companies to use a renewable raw material or feedstock.
To abide by the principles of green chemistry, chemical companies should avoid or reduce the use of unnecessary derivatives including blocking group, protection, and temporary modification of chemical or physical properties. Using such derivatives will require additional reagents further in the manufacturing process and generate additional waste.
In today’s rapid business scenario, a company’s lack of agility will significantly affect their ability to be competitive. The chemical industry being highly volatile, requires the players in this sector to evolve and adapt themselves to the changing market conditions constantly. To help them achieve this, chemical manufacturers must have a reliable IT infrastructure and ERP system that can analyze operational data, support critical business functions, and ensure improved organizational transparency.
With the rising competition on one side and mounting challenges on the other, the only option left with the chemical manufacturers to survive in the market is to covert these challenges into opportunities.
Contact our experts to learn how our solutions have helped leading chemical manufacturers address market needs.
Challenges Faced by Chemical Manufacturers
Unanticipated variations in commodity prices
Going by the trend a decade ago, the energy costs appeared to be on an upward climb, but the recent years have witnessed the emergence of cheaper forms of energy. This would have been a sigh of relief for energy manufacturers if only the benefits of lower energy prices were distributed evenly on a country-by-country basis.
Therefore, chemical companies are required to have a robust ERP system that will help them respond to fluctuations in energy prices quickly.
Increased number of recalls and quality audits
Chemical manufacturers are exposed to a variety of government and other regulatory compliance. Therefore, it is essential for them to maintain strict quality management and detailed product information.
Chemical manufacturers are also required to capture data from operational processes accurately so that in case of any recalls they can be prepared for it. To equip themselves for quality audit, the chemical companies must integrate traceability data across the business and should be made accessible to various stakeholders such as supplier and customers during the quality audit process.
Managing manufacturing and operational data
The needs and demands of different stakeholders to chemical companies may be different. E.g., while shareholders look for profit and revenue, customers want more for lesser money, and the regulators respond to safety and environmental concerns.
By managing their operational and manufacturing data efficiently, chemical manufacturers can ensure success in responding to the requirement of various stakeholders in their value-chain.
Cutting down formula costs to create new efficiencies
The availability of raw materials to chemical companies are affected by factors such as the seasonality, cost of purchase, and maintenance constraints, etc. But at the same time, chemical manufacturers have to ensure that they procure the right materials with the required specifications to comply with the standards of the formulations.
Chemical companies must work smarter to achieve the right resource mix and formula optimization at the minimum cost so that they can satisfy both their internal and external stakeholders.
To know more about the challenges faced by chemical manufacturers, request more info.
The global chemical industry generates revenues of over $3 trillion and produces intermediaries and precursors for the majority of other consumer industries. Europe, North America, and APAC are the major contributing region in the chemical industries with major chemical companies located in these areas. The chemical companies are profoundly affected by factors such as volatile commodity prices, stringent regulations, rapid innovation, and managing operational and manufacturing data. However, chemical companies have successfully tackled such challenges to create massive revenues for themselves.
Top 5 Global Chemical Companies
BASF SE is a German company and one of the largest chemical companies in the world for the 9th year in a row. With an employee base of more than 122,000, the company posted a sales figure of €57.5 billion in the year 2016. The company has a wide product range including chemicals, coatings, plastics, performance chemicals, catalysts, crop technology, crude oil and natural gas exploration and production. Their chemical SBU manufactures a wide range of industrial chemicals including amines, resins, solvents, glues, industrial gases, petrochemicals, and inorganic compounds.
The Dow Chemical Company was is one of an American multinational chemical companies which merged with DuPont to form DowDuPont. In terms of market capitalization, it is the second-largest chemical company in the world. The company provides products and solutions to industries including agriculture, automotive, construction, energy, consumer goods, packaging, and infrastructure. Plastics, chemicals, and agricultural products are some of the prominent offerings from the company. With a presence over 160 countries, it is referred to as a chemical company for the chemical companies, as in they sell most of its product to other chemical companies instead of end-user industry.
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Sinopec is the largest supplier of petrochemicals in China for more than a decade. The company has come a long way experiencing rapid growth prospects as it was only the ninth-largest chemical company a decade ago. The state-owned petroleum energy and chemical companies indulge in oil and gas exploration, production and sales of petrochemicals, chemical fertilizers, chemical fibres, and other chemical products. Additionally, it is also involved in storage and pipeline transportation of crude oil and natural gas, export and import business of crude oil, petrochemicals, and other chemicals.
SABIC is a Saudi company involved in the manufacturing of chemicals and intermediates, industrial polymers, fertilizers, and metals. With revenues of $35.5 billion in 2016, it is the fourth largest chemical company. It is also the second-largest producer of ethylene glycol and the world’s largest producer of MTBE, polyphenylene, granular urea, polycarbonate, and polyetherimide.
ExxonMobil is an American multinational oil and gas corporation which was formed by the merger of Exxon and Mobil. It is one of the largest chemical companies in the world with a daily production of 3.921 million BOE. This chemical company’s main line of chemical business comes from petrochemicals which is why recently doubled its petrochemical capacity at its refining and petrochemical complex in Singapore.
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According to the recent export import data, the chemical industry in the US has recorded an upward trend after a long hiatus. The positive trend in the chemical industry can be attributed to various factors such as the growth in the Asian economy, increase in usage of shale gas, easy availability of cheap feedstock, and rising number of M&As across the globe. The chemical industry in the US is largely responsible for the increase in the export volume for ethane, resulting in the growth of the overall industry. The US chemical industry is slowly recovering from the oil price fluctuations. The industry leaders have predicted a significant increase in exports for the US chemical market due to the commoditization of bulk chemicals and the surging demand for specialty chemicals. Much of the industry’s growth will be driven by the sub sectors such as agrochemicals, high-performance chemicals, and specialty chemicals along with low priced and abundant amounts of gas supplies.
Increasing Exports, Decreasing Imports – the US Chemical Industry
The US chemical industry is reducing its import volume by increasing domestic production capacity; thereby, becoming self-reliant and focusing on the production of export worthy commodities. The favorable policies for domestic production and manufacturing under the Trump administration, help the chemical industry to achieve self-sufficiency and predict healthy earnings for differentiated and specialty chemical producers. From a procurement perspective, the increase in domestic production will result in a rise in market entry opportunities. By developing the domestic production capacity, the US can drive export revenue and re-establish itself as one of the major players in the chemical market across the globe.
What’s Transforming the Global Chemical Industry?
The chemical manufacturing companies must adopt these trends to strengthen their market position and increase their market position globally. Trends such as evolving regulatory landscape, mergers and acquisitions, digital transformation, and an increase in investments are transforming the global chemical and petroleum industry landscape. These trends have positively impacted every business process and activity right from production, compliance, and operations. The growth in demand and the sudden surge in the market competition has coerced the chemical manufacturers to adopt advanced technology, thereby streamlining process efficiencies, minimizing costs, and improving product quality.