Global Chemicals and Materials Industry Outlook
Recycle and reuse practices are impacting the sales of virgin materials, resulting into lesser dependency on volume-driven growth. New materials are showcasing potential for driving value-based growth, but chemical companies are still some time away from achieving voluminous production, while maintaining high quality at the same time. Barring few exceptions, a majority of players are still prioritizing short-term volume growth over long-term value growth. Pressure on improving bottom-line is influencing manufacturers to improve efficiency and reduce operational costs. The impact of value-driven growth may not be visible in the short-term, but long-term outlook remains in favour of a balanced approach between value and volume.
Manufacturers are under increasing pressure to incorporate digital solutions in their offerings. Forward-thinking manufacturers are investing in technology to reduce human interference and streamline key operational aspects such as ordering and shipping. Resonating its influence over every industry, Internet of Things (IoT) has the potential to transform and disrupt the chemical sector. Connectivity through IoT devices is gaining traction, whereas product-level sensors on dispensing equipment and barrels are helping manufacturers track their consignments digitally. Through assessment of long-term benefits, chemical companies are capitalizing on digitization by adopting digital platforms & processes that eliminate human error in profit-associated operations.
Manufacturers continue seeking low-priced feedstock in a bid to marginally reduce pre-production costs. Industry leaders are joining forces to replace fossil fuel-derived feedstock with bio-based alternatives. However, concerns related to producing affordable and sustainable feedstock at mass scale remains a challenge. Access to quality and affordable feedstock will continue to remain a focus area for manufacturers. Chemical manufacturing processes are running on limited energy, while volume of feedstock is getting stranded at ports as disapproval from import authorities keeps disrupting supply chains in sectors, such as oleochemicals and petrochemicals industries.
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