ICIS has announced its annual ICIS Top 100 Chemical Companies listing of global producers ranked by 2020 sales. Germany-based BASF is the world‘s largest chemical company with sales of 72.3 billion US$ in 2020, down just 0.3 % versus 2019. China-based Sinopec was second with 57.0 billion US$ in chemicals sales, followed by US-based Dow in third with 38.5 billion US$ in revenues, UK-based Ineos with 33.6 billion US$ in chemicals sales and US-based Lyondellbasell with 27.8 billion US$ in sales.
“2020 saw unprecedented disruptions from Covid-19 which led to significant sales declines, especially for commodity chemicals producers. However, the industry rose to the challenge, meeting demand for personal protective equipment (PPE), hygiene products and food and other packaging,” says Joseph Chang, Global Editor of ICIS Chemical Business. The ICIS Top 100 data show an average sales decline of 34 % in 2020 for the diverse and global group of chemical companies. Operating profits fell on average close to 25 % year on year for those that posted profits. The plunge in sales and profits in the first half of 2020 was followed by a sharp rebound in the second half and into 2021. Supply chain disruption was a major factor pushing commodity chemical prices higher through the second half of 2020 as demand growth started to return in end-use markets.