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GCC chemical industry achieves $84bn in 2018

GCC chemical industry achieves $84bn in 2018
GCC chemical production capacity reached 174.8 million tons last year

Mubasher: The chemical industry in the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) member countries achieved a revenue of $84.1 billion in 2018, according to a recent report by the Gulf Petrochemicals and Chemicals Association (GPCA).

GCC production capacity reached 174.8 million tons, signalling an increase of 2.8% in terms of contribution to the regional gross domestic product (GDP), as well as an increase by 13.3. million tons in capacities.

The ‘GPCA Pulse of the Chemical Industry Report’ was released on Wednesday at the 14th Annual GPCA Forum, held at the Madinat Jumeirah in Dubai, the UAE on 3-5 December, under the theme ‘Winning through Strategic Partnerships’.

The report highlights chemical production, export, sales, job creation and investments made in the Arabian Gulf in 2018.

Oman’s chemical sector had the highest contribution to GDP among the GCC countries last year, with 5.1%, double the figure in the region.

Meanwhile, Saudi Arabia has maintained its exceptional position in 2018, among the top ten exporters of chemicals globally.

The Kingdom also registered the region’s largest volume output and chemical sales revenue, with $62 billion in revenue.

GPCA member companies in Saudi Arabia are producing as many as 126 products with a total capacity of 119.2 million tons, according to a press release.

The petrochemicals sector in the UAE was characterized by rapid development, with 77% of the current production capacity being launched in the last decade, between 2008 and 2018.

“Employment in the GCC chemical industry increased by 157,000 in 2018 with the UAE being the second largest employer gaining approximately 18% market share in regional employment in the chemical sector,” said Abdulwahab Al-Sadoun, Secretary-General, GPCA.

In 2018, the UAE chemicals output was 14.5 million tons, with basic chemicals representing 33%, followed by polymers with 28% and fertilizers with 30%.

Meanwhile, Against the backdrop of the positive price trends in fertilizer and polymer products, revenue in the UAE have increased by 28.4%.

In Bahrain, the chemical sector achieved the highest revenue growth of 39% in 2018, attributed primarily to higher revenue from fertilizer products. Bahraini production capacity amounted to 1.4 million tons with a revenue of $327 million.

Kuwait achieved the second-highest chemical revenue growth of 32% in 2018, thanks to industrial expansion.