MarketLine Blog

Posts about Chemicals

Sequencing Quinoa: Food for thought


The pharmaceutical industry has been growing at a strong rate in recent years. One aspect of this market is that of the food supplement. The growing trend especially amongst the older populace and with the hectic lifestyles that are led in developed countries lends support to the supplement industry. The ability of scientists to understand the functions of different genes have assisted in the growth of specific markets and also in the changes to specific plant species. When looking at some of the historic plant species and how they have… Read more

ChemChina move into the fast lane with Pirelli tires purchase


The announcement of the proposed acquisition of Italian tire maker Pirelli by China National Chemical Corp (ChemChina), a state owned chemical company, on March 23rd marks a significant move in the global tires industry. While Pirelli is an attractive business in itself, recording net profits of $414m in 2014 and boasting a strong balance sheet, there are a three key reasons motivating ChemChina’s takeover. Firstly, Pirelli’s focus on high performance car and motorcycle tire segments means the business has a wealth of technological knowledge and research and development (R&D) capability… Read more

Turning carbon dioxide from pollutant to raw material


Recently, the RSC’s Chemistry World highlighted the work of Econic Technologies. Formed in 2012, this UK company intends to produce polyols (precursors to polyurethanes) and polycarbonates. Why the interest in a small company offering  the kind of basic plastic resins that have been produced in vast quantities for more than 50 years? The reason is that it intends to make them from carbon dioxide. Econic will use catalysts developed by Professor Charlotte Williams and her team at Imperial College, London. These novel materials allow small molecules such as propylene oxide… Read more

Mapping Global Innovation


Technological innovation, often regarded as ‘the great growling engine of change’, has long been synonymous with powering economic development. Equally, through necessity, industrial growth helps to drive innovation and the creation of new technologies. Thus in theory at least, both economic and technological growth feed off each other to sustain and accelerate development. Yet in recent years the opposite has been the case; the global economy has gone through the pains of a financial crisis at a time when patent applications, which are a reasonably good measure of the level… Read more

Will Europe price itself out of the chemicals industry?


Jim Ratcliffe, Chairman of Ineos, is a worried man. In an open letter to the President of the EU Commission José Barroso, published on 7 March 2014, he expressed his concerns for the future of the very industry in which Ineos is a major player: chemicals. Central to Mr Ratcliffe’s argument is the high prices of energy and feedstocks in Europe, which decrease competitiveness. Statistics from the Energy Information Agency and Eurostat bear out his premises. In the first semester 2013, for example, natural gas prices paid by industrial users… Read more