The German chemical and pharmaceutical industry accounts for around a quarter of EU chemical sales. This makes Germany Europe’s strongest chemicals location. Worldwide, the German chemical industry ranks fourth after China, the USA and Japan with a sales-related market share of a good 5 percent. In the German industry comparison, the chemical industry is the third most important industrial sector after automobile manufacturing and mechanical engineering. In addition to several large chemical companies (including BASF, Bayer, Fresenius, Henke, Boehringer Ingelheim), there are many medium-sized companies. This article is based on the unique Top 600 Chemical Companies Germany – List of the largest chemical companies.
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- Excel list of the 600 largest German chemical companies for download
- Including: sales (since 2015), number of employees, e-mail, address, telephone number, management, etc
- Detailed information on industry (specialty chemicals, pharmaceuticals, paints and coatings, construction chemicals, etc.)
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- Last update: 07.08.2020
Third largest industrial sector with steady growth
The total turnover of the industry amounted to 198.3 billion euros in 2019. Domestic sales accounted for 73.8 billion euros (37 percent) of this total, while 124.4 billion euros in sales (63 percent) were generated from exports. This was offset by 145.9 billion euros in chemical imports. In 2020, the Corona pandemic caused slight declines in sales in all sectors – a temporary phenomenon. In fact, sales in the chemical sector have grown steadily over time – by around 80 percent between 1996 and 2019, or by an average of 2.6 percent annually. Additionally, German chemical companies also produce abroad. Foreign production amounted to around 210 billion euros in 2019.
The four most important production areas in the chemical-pharmaceutical industry are specialty chemicals (25.5 percent share of total production value – as of 2018), pharmaceuticals (23.9 percent), polymers (19.7 percent) and petrochemicals (15.8 percent). Other sectors: Basic inorganic chemicals, detergents and personal care products. Of the nearly 2,200 companies in the chemical-pharmaceutical industry, about half have fewer than 50 employees. 43 percent are medium-sized companies with 50 to 500 employees. 7 percent have more than 500 employees. Overall, the industry represented 464,000 jobs in Germany in 2019.
Source: Listenchampion Image source: Unsplash
This article is based partly on our list of the 600 largest chemical companies in Germany and partly on our Chemical Industry Report. In our industry report of the German chemical sector you will find detailed information on areas of activity, an overview of the locations and clusters of the chemical industry, key financial figures as well as insights into the gender distribution and sustainability efforts of the industry.