Chemical Supply in 2024: Looking Ahead Featured Image
Chemical Supply in 2024: Looking Ahead

The chemical industry stands at a crossroads, grappling with a tumultuous landscape marked by rising costs, shrinking profits, and intense pricing pressures. As companies gear up for the year 2024, several factors are driving strategies aimed at resilience, sustainability, and operational efficiency.

The previous year brought its share of setbacks, with production growth stifled by various global factors. A European recession, US inflationary trends, and subdued demand from China contributed to sluggish growth. Overstocking in prior years further dampened output, prompting a sharp focus on cost reduction and operational efficiency.

This year in the chemical industry

The changing competitive landscape

Amidst these challenges this year, the industry witnessed significant transformations. Investments in energy transition led to sector convergence, with oil and gas companies branching into critical minerals mining and chemicals. Parallelly, chemical companies ventured into clean energy supply chains.

Circular economy initiatives gained ground

The industry saw a surge in circular economy initiatives, with substantial investments pouring into plastics and battery recycling, bio-based feedstocks, and localised supply chains. Transparency and sustainability became linchpins for fostering brand trust and fostering collaboration.

The path forward: Resilience, innovation, and collaboration

BASF's projections: delays in recovery

Projections from BASF suggest that recovery might extend into 2025, necessitating patience and adaptive strategies. With growth prospects deferred, the emphasis on efficiency becomes paramount, fueling investments in predictive analytics and fostering partnerships for streamlined supply chains.

Sustainable imperatives in 2024

A pivotal theme for 2024 revolves around bolstering sustainability commitments. Tightening environmental regulations urgently requires slashing emissions and adopting circular practices. And the concept of "chemistry as a service" will likely gain momentum, fostering collaboration for recycled or repurposed solutions.

As the industry steers toward the future, strategic positioning becomes paramount. Resilience, innovation, sustainability, and collaboration across the supply chain emerge as pivotal factors in ensuring success.

What else can we expect in 2024?

Keeping a close eye on global economic trends, policy shifts, digitalisation advancements, and collaborative supply chain efforts will be instrumental in gauging the industry's trajectory in the coming year.

In summary, the chemical supply landscape in 2024 remains poised at a critical juncture, demanding resilience, adaptability, and a steadfast commitment to sustainability and innovation. Navigating through these complexities will define success in an era marked by transformative changes and evolving global dynamics.