Specialty chemicals

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Specialty Chemicals Industry

Hygiene concerns will boost industrial, institutional cleaning industry's growth beyond 2020

The cleaning industry continues to play an essential role in the front-line battle against COVID-19, but the market has not been immune to the devastating impact the pandemic has wreaked on the global economy, resulting in a contraction in world real GDP of 3.9% in 2020.

Digitalization, automation transforming water-treatment industry

Digitalization and automation in the water-treatment specialties industry have been accelerated by the extraordinary circumstances and challenges caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Grace to acquire Albemarle's contract-manufacturing business for $570 million

WR Grace says it has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire Albemarle’s fine chemistry services (FCS) business for approximately $570 million, including $300 million paid in cash at closing and $270 million funded through the issuance to Albemarle of non-participating preferred equity in a newly created Grace subsidiary.

Arkema's profits, sales decline on prices, currency effects

Arkema says its fourth-quarter net profit declined 42.7% year on year (YOY), to €43.0 million ($52.5 million), on 3.3% lower sales, at €1.98 billion.

Specialty chemicals industry contracted 5% in 2020

The specialty chemicals industry contracted about 5% last year due to the COVID-19 pandemic that prompted national lockdowns and shrank the global economy.

AkzoNobel's profits surge on margin management, cost savings

AkzoNobel says its net profit more than doubled in the fourth quarter, to €167.0 million ($210.5 million) from €81.0 million in the prior-year period, driven by strong margin-management and cost-saving programs.

Albemarle falls short of estimates on weaker results in lithium, catalysts

Albemarle today reported fourth-quarter net income down 6.4% year-over-year (YOY), to $84.6 million, while net sales declined 11.4%, to $879.1 million. Adjusted earnings were down 32.4% YOY, to $1.17/share, short of analysts’ consensus estimate of $1.30/share, as reported by Refinitiv (New York, New York).

Ecolab reports lower fourth-quarter earnings, hit by COVID-19 second wave

Ecolab today reported fourth-quarter net income down 24% year-on-year (YOY), to $300.3 million, on net sales down 6%, to $3.07 billion. Adjusted earnings totaled $1.23/share, down 15% YOY and slightly short of analysts’ consensus estimate of $1.25/share, as reported by Refinitiv (New York, New York).

DSM net profit drops on depreciation, other expenses; sales, EBITDA beat estimates

DSM says its net profits from continuing operations in the fourth quarter dropped 57% year on year (YOY), to €50.0 million ($60.7 million), despite an 8% YOY increase in sales, to €2.08 billion.

Lanxess to acquire US consumer specialties firm Emerald Kalama for more than $1 billion

Lanxess says it has signed a binding agreement to acquire specialty chemicals manufacturer Emerald Kalama Chemical (Cuyahoga Falls, Ohio) for an enterprise value of $1.08 billion; $1.04 billion, after deducting debt-like items.

F&F leaders consolidate market share

Givaudan, IFF, Symrise, and Firmenich together generate about 50% of the flavors and fragrances (F&F) industry’s worldwide sales, largely as a result of M&A, according to the Overview of the Specialty Chemicals Industry report, published recently by IHS Markit’s Specialty Chemicals Update Program (SCUP).

Clariant posts lower profits, sales on weaker volumes, negative currency effects

Clariant says its sales from continuing operations in the fourth quarter declined 9% year on year (YOY), to 1.02 billion Swiss francs ($1.14 billion) with strong growth in catalysis partially offsetting lower volumes in the care chemicals and natural resources businesses.

Cost control drives big increase in Kemira's profits

Kemira says its fourth-quarter net profits more than doubled to €23.8 million ($28.9 million) from €8.6 million in the year-earlier period, despite an 8% year-on-year (YOY) drop in revenue, to €605.6 million.

IFF beats estimates on cost savings, fragrance volume gains

IFF today reported fourth-quarter net income down 17% year-on-year (YOY), to $67.6 million, on net sales down 1%, to $1.27 billion. Adjusted earnings totaled $1.32/share, down 9.5% YOY and ahead of analysts’ consensus estimate $1.19/share, as reported by Refinitiv (New York, New York).

Bain, Cinven to acquire Lonza's specialty ingredients business for $4.7 billion

Lonza says it has reached an agreement with a consortium of private equity firms Bain Capital and Cinven for the previously announced sale of the Lonza Specialty Ingredients (LSI) business and operations, for an enterprise value of 4.2 billion Swiss francs ($4.7 billion).

PPG outbids AkzoNobel with $1.8-billion offer for Tikkurila

Tikkurila says that its board has unanimously recommended that the company’s shareholders accept an improved tender offer from PPG Industries of approximately €1.52 billion ($1.82 billion), or €34.00/share.

IFF, DuPont N&B to complete merger today

IFF (New York) announced that it will complete its merger with DuPont’s Nutrition & Biosciences (N&B) business today. The deal creates a global ingredients and solutions leader serving consumer-oriented food and beverage, home and personal care, and health and wellness end markets with pro forma 2020 revenue of more than $11 billion and EBITDA of approximately $2.5 billion.

Kottmann to step down as Clariant chairman, board member in April

Clariant says that Harolf Kottmann, the company’s chairman since 2018, has informed Clariant’s board that he will no longer be a candidate for the office of chairman and board member, at the company's annual shareholders’ meeting in April.

Taiwan emerges as worldwide hub for IC process chemicals

The electronics industry uses a range of sophisticated specialty chemicals in the many processing steps to manufacture electronic components and products, including silicon wafers and integrated circuits (ICs), for packaging and printed circuit boards (PCBs), used to make compound semiconductors and optoelectronics, as well as flat panel display products, according to the Electronic Chemicals Report, published recently by IHS Markit’s Specialty Chemicals Update Program.

Specialty Chemicals Industry

Pandemic has minor impact on consumption of food additives

World consumption of food additives is estimated to have been 7.0 million metric tons in 2020 with the COVID-19 pandemic having a modest impact on demand growth, according to the Food Additives Report, published recently by IHS Markit’s Specialty Chemicals Update Program (SCUP).

Consumption of flame retardants hurt by COVID-19, recovery expected through 2025

Worldwide consumption of flame retardants is expected to rise on a volume basis at an average annual rate of 2.7% during 2019–25, according to the Flame Retardants report, published recently by IHS Markit’s Specialty Chemicals Update Program (SCUP).

M&A remains active in flavors and fragrances industry despite COVID-19

The performance of the major flavors and fragrances companies was resilient in 2020 despite the unprecedented challenges caused by COVID-19.

Specialties weather the storm in 2020

Specialties is the chemical industry sector least affected by the COVID-19 pandemic during 2020 and the segment within which the COVID-19 impact varied the most.

Consumption of construction chemicals declines due to COVID-19, growth to return in 2021

Worldwide specialty construction chemicals consumption will expand at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 2.8% on a volume basis in the 2020-25 period, according to the Overview of the Specialty Chemicals Industry report, published recently by IHS Markit’s Specialty Chemicals Update Program (SCUP).

Specialties demand rebounds

Most specialty chemical companies had been expecting their performance to improve in the third quarter of 2020 and many were able to post sequential gains in their quarterly results.

DIY activity boosts demand for decorative paints during pandemic

Decorative paints was one of the specialty chemical segments, alongside nutrition and care, to achieve a strong performance during the first nine months of 2020, with most companies that sell decorative paints products seeing revenue increase on a year-on-year (YOY) basis mainly due to high demand in the do-it-yourself (DIY) market.

US, EU, Germany see negative impact of COVID-19 on specialties; China led the industry in 2019

Chemical industry associations have made data available recently on specialty chemicals production in 2020. The data for this year is currently limited, but the impact of COVID-19 on the production of specialties is negative for the most part.

MBCC Group emerges as a major player

MBCC Group (Mannheim, Germany) is a new leading player in the construction chemicals industry, consisting of approximately 70 legal entities worldwide, a network of global and regional R&D centers, and about 7,500 employees and construction experts across 60 countries.

COVID-19 alters cleaning trends

Companies in the home-care and industrial and institutional (I&I) cleaning business will have to adjust to the new reality created by COVID-19, which has caused consumers to prioritize convenience and e-commerce, and effectivity and stronger cleaners, and has reversed the “chemophobia” trend in cleaning products, according to a recent blog post on the North American website of BASF’s home care and I&I cleaning solutions business.

Featured data

Strong start to year for specialties in US

US specialty chemical market volumes started 2021 with a 1.2% sequential increase in January, an improvement compared with a 1.0% revised increase in December 2020, according to the American Chemistry Council (ACC).

specialty chemicals industry data

ESG investing and chemicals - Emilio Tenuta