the European chemical industry will be highly influenced by the business environment

The bargaining power of consumers is mainly product-related and niche-related. This industry is highly correlated. Over time, the relationship between suppliers and buyers will change, and the relationship may even be reversed due to shortages of raw materials or the collapse of factory production. Among large European chemical companies, commodity swaps are very common; for example, in order to reduce transportation and handling costs, products are directly shipped from competitors to customers or from factories to competitors’ customers.

The fourth force reflects the bargaining power of suppliers. Since the chemical industry relies on petroleum and naphtha (the first step after petroleum), the raw materials are mainly commodities that are traded on the spot market. Therefore, the bargaining power of suppliers is quite limited. In addition, the frequently used pipeline connections between suppliers and buyers reduce the freedom of supply chain partners because the cost of replacing supply chain partners is quite high.

Finally, the fifth force resolves competition within the chemical industry. Although 12 of the 30 major companies are headquartered in Europe, major competition is not a problem in the European market. These mature companies have professional capabilities and capabilities, creating a stable market environment. However, the European chemical industry relies on obtaining raw materials from sources outside Europe, which may cause these companies to compete on the necessary raw materials. Research and development are mainly carried out in Europe and North America, and are slowly advancing in Asia. Companies that focus on downstream or customer-oriented professional markets are less driven by competition. Another aspect that has a significant impact on competition in the chemical industry is the political and social acceptance of chemical production due to the involvement of dangerous goods and risks. Therefore, the European chemical industry will be highly influenced by the business environment created by political and social forces.

In summarizing the findings of our literature review, we focused on the factors that shape the macroeconomic and business environment of the chemical industry for specific industries. Through the analysis of previous studies, we have identified 15 key factors that will determine the future of the European chemical industry. These 15 factors established our research framework to analyze the future of the European chemical industry in more detail.
Each of the above five studies covers 9 to 13 factors, and ATKearney covers the most comprehensive set of factors. ATKearney only mentioned a (growing) turbulent business environment. The eastward shift of R&D and the global diffusion of market and technical knowledge only involve ATKearney and Accenture, while adapting to the specific needs of customers involves KPMG and Accenture. Three research reports mentioned maintaining professional knowledge and attracting talents, as well as strengthening supervision and actions, for example in the areas of risk and safety. The other 10 factors are involved in at least 4 or even all 5 studies. All studies point out that due to the shift to Asia and the Middle East, innovations in products, services, manufacturing technologies, and business processes, as well as participation in the substitution of biological materials and oil-based products, face greater challenges in developing and maintaining competitive advantages in the Asian market. pressure.

We can draw the conclusion that the future-oriented reports and research of international consulting companies with chemical departments show that the future development is very certain: for the future of chemistry in Europe, these three consulting companies only provide one vision. However, Heinzelbecker [and Deloitte & Cefic [20] focused on its logistics and provided different solutions for the analysis of the European chemical industry. Although the chemical industry is powerful, and the petrochemical industry is a pioneer in scenario planning, recent scientific publications on these topics are quite difficult to find.

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