C&EN ranks top 50 chemical companies



C&EN’s Global Top 50 Chemical Companies of 2018
Chemical & Engineering News

A new company has captured the number one spot for 2018 in C&EN’s annual Global Top 50 list of chemical companies. DowDuPont has ended BASF’S 12-year reign as the largest chemical company in the world, according to an article in Chemical & Engineering News (C&EN), the weekly news magazine of the American Chemical Society.

Companies that made the list for 2018 had a combined chemical revenue of more than $926.8 billion –– a 13.4% increase from the same companies’ sales the year before. However, company profits (revenue minus expenses) rose only 3.4%, which could be a sign that the market is losing steam, Senior Editor Alexander H. Tullo writes. Compared with 2017’s list, the top 50 adds some brand-new companies while losing other firms to mergers.  

Leading at number one with $86.0 billion in chemical sales is DowDuPont, the result of a merger between Dow Chemical and DuPont in 2017. However, DowDuPont’s reign will likely be short-lived because the company split into three separate firms earlier this year: Dow, DuPont and Corteva Agriscience. In second place with $74.1 billion in 2018 chemical sales, BASF is working to reclaim its title through various strategies, such as purchasing Solvay’s nylon 6,6 business and investing in China. In terms of R&D spending, DowDuPont ranked highest again at $3.06 billion, followed by BASF at $2.40 billion. Although BASF will likely reclaim the top spot in 2019, Dow and DuPont will surely appear in next year’s top 50, Tullo predicts.

Note: ACS does not conduct research, but publishes and publicizes peer-reviewed scientific studies.

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