First Research US Industry Profile

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Chemical Wholesalers
SIC Codes: 5162, 5169
NAICS Codes: 4246
Last Quarterly Update: 5/6/2024
Companies in this industry operate as merchant wholesale distributors of plastics materials and a variety of other chemical products. Major companies include Tricon Energy and Univar Solutions (both based in the US), Brenntag and HELM AG (both based in Germany), ITOCHU (Japan), and Sinochem (China).
Most large companies operate globally but their distribution networks are concentrated in a single region or country. The US, Germany, Russia, China, and Japan are the top chemical producing countries, according to Your Article Library. According to Statista, the US production volume of the chemical industry is expected to increase by 1.5% by 2025.
The US chemical wholesalers industry includes about 13,000 establishments (single-location companies and branches of multi-location companies) with combined annual revenue of about $240 billion.
Competitive Landscape
Chemical distribution is a cyclical business dependent on industrial demand. The profitability of individual companies depends on an efficient distribution system. Larger companies can offer more products and services. Local and regional distributors can compete effectively through superior service or geographic focus. The US industry is concentrated: the largest 50 companies generate about 60% of the revenue.
Imports to the US of industrial chemicals and plastic resins, largely from Canada, Mexico, China, and Japan, are substantial. Many of these imports move through chemicals distributors.
Products, Operations & Technology
Major products distributed by chemical wholesalers include chemicals (except explosives), which account for about 40% of the industry's revenue. This is ... plus:
Sales & Marketing
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Finance & Regulation
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Regional & International Issues
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Human Resources
Also includes the following chapters:
Quarterly Industry Update
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Industry Indicators
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Business Challenges
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Trends and Opportunities
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Call Preparation Questions
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Financial Information
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Industry Forecast
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Industry Websites
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Glossary of Acronyms

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