Thursday, August 23, 2018

Some Data on Spain’s Chemical Sector

The following table shows 2017 revenues, products produced, the number of employees (2017), and other data for seven Spanish-owned (and headquartered in Spain) chemical companies:

chemical company
revenues (millions of euros)
products produced
number of employees
private or public
fuels; petrochemicals
fuels; petrochemicals
pvc, caustic acid, polyols, paraformaldehyde, potash, chloride, fusidic acid, glues & resins
agricultural (fertilizers); industrial (ammonia, urea, nitric acid
elix polymers
abs resin and derivatives
suan farma
products for the pharmaceutical, veterinary, nutritional, and cosmetic industries
minersa group
fluorspar, fluoro chemicals, sodium sulphate, special clays, anhydrous calcium sulphate, salts

An extensive search of the Internet could not find such data on other Spanish-owned chemical companies, perhaps because none exist of the size represented by the companies in the table.  Many foreign-owned chemical companies of comparable size operate in Spain, such as operations conducted by Dow, BASF, and Clariant.

The largest concentration of chemical companies (chemical company clusters) in Spain are in Tarragona (by far the largest) and Huelva.   The following table gives the approximate areas (in square kilometers) of these cluster, measured using Google Maps (satellite view).  Also in the table are approximate measurements for chemical clusters in several other countries.

square kilometers
jubail saudi arabia
asaluyeh iran
yanbu saudi arabia
mahshahr iran
kizhnekamsk russia
singapore (jurong island)
kstovo russia
tarragona spain
huelva spain

The table shows that that the Tarragona cluster is relatively small compared to the largest chemical clusters.  About 50% of Spain’s chemical production (about 80 million metric tons, all of Spain in 2017) is in Catalonia, where Tarragona is located.

2017 chemical sector revenues were around 63 billion Euros, about 12.5% of Spain’s GDP.  Spain’s chemical industrial sector is the 2nd largest sector in Spain.   The chemical sector is forecasted to grow at a 4.5% CAGR until 2030.  Approximately 55% of chemical production is exported.  The sector benefits from Spain’s location on the Mediterranean Sea and Atlantic Ocean.

Thursday, August 9, 2018

Bulk versus Nano Metal Oxide Production and Revenue Data

The following table suggests estimated profit gains when bulk metal oxides are processed into nano metal oxides:

global bulk production in millions of metric tons (2016)
global bulk revenues in billions USD (2016)
global nano production in millions of metric tons (2016)
global nano revenues in billions USD    (2016)
 bulk metal oxides revenues per metric ton (price)
 nano metal oxides revenues per metric ton (price)
increased sales rate when going to nano from bulk oxide
titanium oxide
 $        2,000
 $          7,692
zinc oxide
 $        1,333
 $       10,000
metal oxides


 $       10,000

The table’s data are rough approximations.  An extensive Internet search was conducted to find bulk and nano 2016 production and revenue amounts for titanium oxide and zinc oxide, as well as metal oxides collectively.  The estimates are shown in the table.  Because a range of production and revenue amounts were found, a best guest average represents what is shown in the table.  No data is shown for bulk metal oxides (as a group) because no such data could be found.

Using these approximations, prices (revenues received per unit provided) can be determined and are shown in the table.   From these prices, you can see that prices for nano oxides are higher than for bulk oxides.  For titanium oxide, the increase is at a 3.8 rate ($7,692/$2,000) and for zinc oxide it is 7.5 ($10,000/$1,333). 

Although the data in the table are rough approximations (because of limitations on the accuracy and the variability of the data found), these results are what one would expect.   The conversion of bulk metal oxides into nano oxides represents significant technical development and expertise and this should result in higher revenues per unit sold.  Such higher revenues should also lead to higher profits.   Such “conversion” effects are found in other chemical production areas, e.g., petrochemicals are higher margin products than crude oil.

The rate data in the table (e.g., the 3.8 and 7.5) might be useful for estimating what oxides are more profitable when converted to nano oxides.   For example, nano zinc oxide looks to be more profitable than nano titanium oxide.   And the same approach might be used in evaluating potential profits in chemical conversion industries, e.g.., crude oil to petrochemicals.

all nano markets/stats

Wednesday, August 1, 2018

Chemical and Metal Shortage Alert – July 2018

The purpose of this blog is to identify chemical and metal shortages reported on the Internet.  The sources of the information reported here are primarily news releases issued on the Internet.  The issue period of the news releases is July 2018.

Section I below lists those chemicals and metals that were on the previous month’s Chemical and Metal Shortage Alert list and continue to have news releases indicating they are in short supply. Click here to read the June 2018 Chemical and Metal Shortage Alert list.

Section II lists the new chemicals and metals (not on the June alert).  Also provided is some explanation for the shortage and geographical information.  This blog attempts to list only actual shortage situations – those shortages that are being experienced during the period covered by the news releases.  Chemicals and metals identified in news releases as only being in danger of being in short supply status are not listed.

Section I.  

Food-grade carbon dioxide: Europe; Mexico; production not keeping up with demand
Photoinitiators used with inks: Europe; supply not keeping up with demand

Section II.   Shortages Reported in July not found on the Previous Month’s List

Aluminum cans: United States; production not keeping up with demand
Chlorine: Ukraine; production not keeping up with demand
Copper: India; production not keeping up with demand
Hydrogen: California; supply not keeping up with demand
Polyethylene terephthalate (PET): Iran; sources no longer available
Zinc: India; production not keeping up with demand

Reasons for Section II shortages can be broadly categorized as: 

1.  Mining not keeping up with demand: none
2.  Production not keeping up with demand: aluminum cans; chlorine; copper; zinc
3.  Government regulations: none
4.  Sources no longer available: polyethylene terephthalate
5.  Insufficient imports:  none
6.  Supply not keeping up with demand: hydrogen