After spending three years struggling to recover from the 2007-2009 recession, the global chemistry industry can finally look forward to a rosier year ahead. The cover story of Chemical & Engineering News, ACS' weekly newsmagazine, details what to watch for in 2014 across different sectors and geographic regions.
The article points out that several factors are buoying expectations for the coming year around the world. In the U.S., low-priced natural gas from shale deposits is spurring a plant building boom, the first of its kind in decades. The chemical industry is also benefitting from strong auto sales and an uptick in housing starts, which drives demand for basic materials. Executives in the fine chemicals sector are also optimistic.
Although by no means stellar—or necessarily set in stone—projections are on the whole positive. Chemical production in the U.S. is expected to rise by 2.5 percent, a respectable increase over the 1.6 percent rate posted in 2013. In Europe, despite stiff competition, industry watchers expect chemical sales to increase. Projections show China and India will continue to drive economic growth, and with it, the chemical industry.
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More information: "World Chemical Outlook" cen.acs.org/articles/92/i2/World-Chemical-Outlook-2014.html