The chemical sector is one of the most important worldwide within the industrial market. More than 3,000 companies in Spain and over 63 billion euros make the chemical industry one of the key sectors for the Spanish economy, generating 12.8% of the industrial GDP. This figure represents a growth of 27% since 2007, despite the financial crisis that has affected Spain over this period. These data are presented in the X-ray View of the Spanish Chemical Industry 2018, a report published by the Spanish Federation of Chemical Industries (FEIQUE) with data on the evolution of the chemical sector over the last year.
The report points to two important factors responsible for the significant growth in turnover in 2017: the behaviour of production and prices. In the case of production, the rate of growth was above that of the Spanish economy as a whole, at 4% at the close of the year. In 2017 the sector benefited from the international demand for chemical products, a fact which led to an increase in exports within the Spanish chemical industry.
Domestic demand also saw positive growth, with chemical consumption worth 67 billion euros in 2017, i.e. 4.6% over 2016. Each Spanish citizen currently consumes 1,440 euros of chemicals each year, the highest historical figure yet.
Another important figure for the sector is the growth in employment. Salaried employees rose by 7.8% to 193,500 (yearly average), just 1,200 employees under 2007 figures.
The fact is that the sector has essentially benefited from the growth in the global demand of chemicals and improved access to international markets. However, it is still working on the basic challenges of reducing energy prices, developing logistics and transport infrastructures and services, simplifying European technical regulations and defending EU trade interests against international competitors, all with a view to improving competitiveness.
According to the FEIQUE report, the chemical sector is expected to see an annual growth of 4.5% until 2030, underpinned by two key factors: the capacity for exportation and innovation in R&D&I.
See the full report.