Despite severe downturn globally, specialty chemical industry in China least affected due to government stimulus package

The specialty chemicals industry was valued at US$393 billion in 2009. By market value, the North American market accounted for 27% of global specialty chemicals consumption, followed by Western Europe with 24%. An overall volume-based annual average growth rate of 3.4% is forecasted over the next 5 years through 2014, with the fastest growing regions being China and Other Asia (excluding Japan). The specialty chemical industry experienced a severe dip in production and profitability starting in late 2008 and continuing through 2009. All global regions experienced a downturn, with China least affected due to the huge Chinese government stimulus package as per a report by SRI Consulting (SRIC). Faster growing segments with reasonable market size include specialty films, printed circuit boards, IC process chemicals, engineering thermoplastics, and construction chemicals. High growth segments with smaller market size include mining chemicals, emission control catalysts, and high-performance thermoplastics. Lead author and Vice President Ralf Gubler commented, “One of the fastest growing specialty chemical segments is specialty films, as it represents a segment with high growth potential but still with reasonable market size. The highest growth is expected to occur for specialty films used in electrical, electronic, and optical applications.”
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