Chemical industry in the UK - Statistics & Facts

The chemical industry in the United Kingdom is one of the main national manufacturing industries. In 2019, the United Kingdom (UK) was home to approximatley 2,955 VAT and/or PAYE based enterprises in the chemicals and chemical products manufacturing sector, the majority of which accounted for small enterprises with less than four employees. That same year, the local units in VAT and/or PAYE based enterprises within this sector totaled 1,715 units for this employment size band. Additionally, 550 VAT and/or PAYE based enterprises reached a turnover higher than five million British pounds in 2019.

From 2008 to 2016, the annual production value of chemicals and chemical product manufacturing in the UK decreased significantly. In the latter year, British production value amounted to nearly 31.89 billion euros. Similarly, annual turnover for the manufacture of chemicals and chemical products dropped over this period, reaching 36.39 billion euros in 2016. As for the wholesale revenue of chemical products in the United Kingdom, it was projected to climb to approximately 24.1 billion U.S. dollars by 2022.

In regards to employment in the UK chemical industry, numbers declined as of 2016, when the British chemical manufacturing sector employed 88,338 people, in comparison to 124,925 employees in 2008. As a result, personnel costs within this industry decreased as well, standing at 5.3 million euros in 2016. That year, the UK counted a total number of 31,000 employed and self-employed chemical scientists .

When it comes to the import of chemicals to the UK, figures experienced a net increase from 2014 to 2018. In 2018, the import value of such products reached 48.81 billion British pounds, of which 44.26 billion British pounds were attributed to England. The export value of chemicals saw growth as well. In 2018, the overseas sales of chemicals from England reached 37.86 billion British pounds whereas Scotland's exports amounted to 2.5 billion British pounds.

Interesting statistics

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Chemical industry in the UK

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Profits and production value

Employment and labor


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