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Accenture recently embarked on a market study of chemical use in the European Union. Our objective was to help chemical producers better determine how to evolve their businesses over the next 20 years. We evaluated 29 end markets and linked chemical usage to output forecasts for each market.
Study results show that the European chemical industry will be a large, high-value market in the year 2030. While a positive outlook does not guarantee success for every producer, we found three main developments indicative of future growth for the industry:
Continuation of “safe haven” markets; local markets, such as fresh food packaging and construction.
Ability for Europe to stay ahead of import competition; continuing emphasis on “high-end” manufacturing.
Harnessing of the advantages and low-cost opportunities of Europe’s burgeoning regions, such Central and Eastern Europe (e.g., Poland, the Czech Republic and Hungary) and even Western Europe (e.g., Ireland and Spain).
Accenture Research analyzed Eurostat input-output tables by country and year, estimated missing data, converted to constant 2005 euros and forecasted, at the aggregate level, chemicals use based on correlations with Oxford Economics value-added output industry forecasts. Analysis included thousands of data points.
Rubber and plastics accounts for a large share of chemicals and therefore the end-use analysis included their final markets. Accenture accounted for this by splitting out chemicals use in rubber and plastics, by industry, and adding it back to chemicals direct input. Import and export data was developed for each industry NACE code and used as an indicator (as net trade) for global competitiveness (the more globally competitive the industry, the more important in 2030).
The scope of the research included 27 European countries: Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden and the United Kingdom.
Paul Bjacek is the research lead for Accenture Chemicals and Natural Resources. He has more than 20 years of experience in the process industries, including project activities in manufacturing, marketing and distribution. Prior to joining Accenture in 2004, Bjacek was affiliated with SRI (formerly Stanford Research Institute) and Chevron. He had been elected to positions in the National Petrochemical & Refiners Association, the Society of the Plastics Industry, the Commercial Development; Marketing Association and the Society of Competitive Intelligence Professionals. He holds an M.Sc. from the London School of Economics and a B.Sc. in chemistry and business.
Other contributors included Cyronne Counts, Patricia Faust, Pallavi Lal, Gaurav Sharma and Karin Walczyk from Accenture Research.
August 31, 2011
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