The landscape of the world was changed almost in an instant as COVID-19 faced the world with a pandemic whose magnitude has not been seen in over a century. Everyone and everything was impacted by the unprecedented developments, which left people wondering what would come next and industries wondering how business would continue. The Chemical Industry found itself affected in many different ways, with periods of growth suddenly reversed and its services not nearly as in demand. But, the path to recovery has already started to emerge.
The current public health crisis dealt a significant blow to the Chemical Industry as a whole, with many sectors of the industry seeing concerning changes, particularly surrounding the United States. After a 0.1% decrease in overall output in 2019, the United States industry dropped a further 3.6% in 2020, unfortunate but unsurprising given the current global health crisis. Output of basic chemicals dropped 1.3% in the previous year, and specialty chemicals suffered even greater losses, for after 2019 showed 2.5% in growth, 2020 brought a 10.8% decrease. And, in the most unfortunate downturn, there were 14,000 layoffs in the industry during the year.
At the start of 2020, the Chemical Industry was already facing a complicated year as demand for certain products was already showing signs of slowing down due to pullbacks in the global manufacturing sector and uncertainty in the upcoming presidential election, among other factors. This was not helped when many companies were forced to shut down their manufacturing lines as the pandemic took hold across the world. Demand for certain products, such as plastics, was still up, both because of their importance in the manufacturing of personal protective equipment and because of an increased interest in home improvement products during the lockdown phases. The industry itself was not as directly hard hit as others during the pandemic, but because it contributes so many materials and products to other manufacturing industries that found themselves shutting down, the Chemical Industry found its demand impacted severely. And, compared to other countries’ industries, the United States’ Chemical Industry endured the most successfully.
Forecasts for 2021 are already providing hope for the industry. While the expected rebound and growth may not completely outdo the damage that has already been done, it will help move the industry in the right direction, and if it stays on track, will continue contributing to sustained growth. In 2021 alone, the industry is expected to grow 3.9%, overall reversing the negative growth seen in the previous year. Specialty chemicals output is forecasted to grow 2.4%, which is positive though it may not erase last year’s drop, while basic chemicals will jump 5%. Trade still may take a few years to recover and return to its pre-pandemic levels, and potential changes in global supply chains may mean that some alterations must be made to chemical manufacturing and trade. But, as more industries reopen, demand for products from the Chemical Industry will continue to increase.
As the industry begins to recover from the COVID-19 pandemic, many companies are finding themselves in unique situations. If your company is looking to work its way into helping the recovery of the Chemical Industry, or already works in the industry and needs to expand for whatever reason, the used equipment market is a great place to start, and EquipNet can help. We offer a wide range of pre-owned chemical manufacturing equipment, including tanks, centrifuges, blenders, and more. This is a great place to start when looking for a piece of equipment while not breaking the bank for whatever reason. By shopping with us, you can rest assured that you are receiving high-quality assets that will serve its purpose, removing the stigma of the “used” market.
2020 has also brought about changes for many companies and has left them wondering how to proceed forward. Whether you are looking to offload unneeded equipment or need to close an entire facility, EquipNet can help with that. We offer an extensive selection of Chemical Investment Recovery and Redeployment Solutions to fit any need. Regularly, we help companies sell idle assets to other companies who can make good use of the machinery while earning the seller extra cash, recycle unneeded equipment while guaranteeing complete compliance with local and federal safety and environmental regulations, and organize complete facility closures, among other services. Interested in how we can help your company recover investment or redeploy assets? Contact us today at 781-821-3482 or at [email protected]!