ACS News Service Weekly PressPac: July 28, 2021

C&EN names top 50 chemical companies for 2021

“C&EN’s Global Top 50 for 2021”
Chemical & Engineering News

For the second year in a row, German chemical firm BASF has claimed the number one spot in C&EN’s annual Global Top 50 list of chemical companies for the 2020 fiscal year. Chemical & Engineering News, the weekly newsmagazine of the American Chemical Society, reports that the industry is in recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic.

In a tumultuous 2020, the group of 50 chemical companies reported a combined $795.8 billion in revenue, a 7% decline from the previous year. This decrease was to be expected because the global pandemic shut down economies around the world, writes Senior Editor Alex Tullo. With fewer cars on the road because of shutdowns, the petrochemical industry saw prices tank initially. However, producers of polyethylene experienced increased demand from the need for food packaging and personal protective equipment. Sustainability was also a major theme for this year’s list, with a majority of the top 50 firms emphasizing more environmentally friendly products and practices.

With over $67 billion in sales in 2020, BASF avoided a major decline in sales and increased its lead over the number two firm Sinopec, the largest chemical maker in China. American chemical giants Dow and DuPont retained their respective third and 14th rankings from the previous year, and oil company Shell rejoined the list at number 22 after five years out of the running. In addition, companies continued to invest in research and development, while pulling back on capital spending. Although experts predicted a grim year for the chemical industry, the reality was not as bad as feared. 



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