Chemicals, Coatings & Plastics OVERVIEW
Technically, the chemicals industry includes the manufacture of pharmaceuticals (drugs).
The global chemicals industry will total about $5.5 trillion in revenues in 2021, according to Plunkett Research estimates.
(About $1.25 trillion of that number will be in pharmaceuticals.) Other everyday chemicals products include fertilizers, dyes, fibers, packaging, adhesives and explosives, among many, many others.
Among the more visible end products are PVC (polyvinyl chloride) pipe for plumbing and other purposes, plastic bottles and other food containers, vinyl window frames, flooring and carpeting made from vinyl and other synthetics, as well as clothing of all types made from synthetic fabrics. This is a research-based industry that requires massive capital expenditures on the production end.
For example, BASF, the world's largest chemical firm, has 10,000 research personnel worldwide.
While the firm is based in Germany, its R&D labs are spread around the globe, including major facilities in the U.S.
in Florham Park, New Jersey (its North American headquarters), Research Triangle, North Carolina (where it runs one of the world's largest agricultural chemicals research facilities) and St.
The company's continuing investment in infrastructure is equally impressive. U.S.
chemicals, plastics and related companies invest billions of dollars annually in research and development (R&D).
chemicals industry employment was 853,400 in May 2021, while America's plastics industry employment was 730,400.