Chemical industry insiders are concerned that poor market conditions may lead to a premature downturn in the global industry, despite strong growth for the industry in China and India. Deutsche Bank, for example, expects that a worldwide slowdown in the chemical industry will begin in 2009. This downturn is predicted to have a greater effect on bulk chemical producers than on specialty chemical firms. According to PricewaterhouseCoopers, the specialty chemicals segment’s sales increased from $28 billion in 2006 to over $40 billion in the first half of 2007. Analysts believe that global petrochemical supply will continue to move from Europe and North America to areas with low gas costs and high demand. Middle Eastern chemical companies have been benefiting from Chinese and Indian demand, mainly in the transportation and construction segments, and are building new facilities to meet this demand. According to the Financial Times, global chemical sales are projected to reach $2,400 billion in 2010, with China accounting for 12% of sales.

Source: Financial Times

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