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ACS News Service Weekly PressPac: July 27, 2022

C&EN’s global top 50 chemical firms

“C&EN’s Global Top 50 chemical firms for 2022”
Chemical & Engineering News

For the third year in a row, German chemical firm BASF takes the top spot in C&EN’s annual Global Top 50 list of chemical companies for the 2021 fiscal year. Chemical & Engineering News, an independent news outlet of the American Chemical Society, reports that the world’s chemical industry is experiencing a strong recovery as the global economy rebounds from the COVID-19 pandemic and as prices rise because of inflation.

According to the survey, the world’s 50 largest chemical companies reported a combined sales total of $1.1 trillion in 2021, which is a 38% increase over the combined total of the same 50 firms in 2020, writes Senior Correspondent Alex Tullo. Additionally, they reported $127 billion in profits. These large numbers are, in part, thanks to the industry rebounding after an overall 7% decline in sales in 2020 as the COVID-19 pandemic took hold. Oil prices skyrocketed because of inflation, and petrochemical companies, which depend on oil as a raw material, raised their own selling prices in kind. Fertilizer makers also enjoyed the benefits of the increased commodity costs.

With $93.0 billion in sales, BASF remains the top chemical firm in the survey, but Russia’s invasion of Ukraine poses new challenges for the German giant as energy dependence on Russia begins to affect the European market. Chinese chemical company Sinopec again takes the second spot, and U.S.-based Dow rounds out the top three. Several newcomers join the top 50, including fertilizer maker EuroChem Group at number 44, as well as TongKun Group and Hengyi Petrochemical at 48 and 50, respectively, both of which are Chinese-based polyester producers. Westlake, Corteva Agriscience, Tosoh and DIC all didn’t have enough sales to make the cut, but other than these few shakeups, the list remains similar to the year before.

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