Chemical industry in the UK - statistics & facts

The chemical and pharmaceuticals industry is the United Kingdom’s second largest industry and is a hugely important part of the nation’s economy. In 2019, chemical industry revenues in the UK stood at 62.8 billion euros, with a GVA (gross value added) of 18.3 billion British pounds. It also plays a big role in the European chemical market, and generated a share of just over six percent of the European Union’s total chemical revenue in 2018. However, the UK's contributions to EU chemical revenues have been declining in recent years.

UK chemical exports

Chemicals are the second largest export commodity in the UK, with Europe a major trading partner. In 2019, the value of chemicals exported by the UK to Germany and the Netherlands was 6.8 and 4.1 billion U.S. dollars, respectively. That same year, the United States imported just over 13 billion U.S. dollars worth of chemical products from the UK. Over the past decade the value of chemicals exported worldwide by the UK have fluctuated, peaking at 72.2 billion U.S. dollars in 2011. By 2019, this figure had dropped to 59.7 billion U.S. dollars.

UK chemical companies

As of 2019, there were more than 3,600 companies in the chemical industry. One of the leading chemical companies in the UK is Johnson Matthey, a multinational which operates in a number of markets such as pharmaceuticals and agrochemicals. As of August 2021, the company had a net income of 205 million British pounds. Another leading company is Croda International, which was the leading chemical company based on market capitalization as of August 2021.

Whilst chemical manufacturing can be found in all regions of the United Kingdom, the industry is most prevalent in the north of the country. The main chemical sites are in Scotland, Teeside, and the Humber, with the largest located in the North West of England.

Interesting statistics

In the following 6 chapters, you will quickly find the 28 most important statistics relating to "Chemical industry in the UK".


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