Reviewing the South African Chemicals Sector
July – September 2017
The chemicals sector is valuable to the South African economy and employs just over 100 000 individuals, a figure that has remained fairly stable over the past decade. The South African chemicals sector sales have shown consistent growth over the past 10 years and the industry has outperformed broader manufacturing over the same period. Over this time, manufacturing output grew at a compound average growth rate of 1.1% per annum while chemicals manufacturing specifically outpaced this figure with 3.7% per annum. Despite this growth however, South Africa’s chemicals trade balance is negative and growing, reflecting the reality that imports have been the biggest beneficiary of the growing local chemicals market.
This newsletter focuses on the South African Chemicals sector, key strategies for growth and opportunities for investment in Africa.
Overview of the international chemicals industry
Given the trends in the international chemicals industry, it is safe to assume that uncertainty is undoubtedly the sector’s new normal. Although the global industry has in the past decade swung between good times and bad, most recent trends seem to highlight that it will, at least in the short term, be unlikely to return to the robust profitability experienced in previous decades. There are, however, strategic steps that chemicals companies can take to improve growth and profitability.
Innovating and going green
With natural resources declining in both quantity and quality, the time has come to practice resource recovery. Materials, water and energy that are regarded as unproductive by one company can be turned into a business opportunity by another operating nearby.
A new outlook for the chemicals industry
Durban Chemicals Cluster (DCC) facilitators, B&M Analysts, have secured the bid to develop the Chemicals Sector Strategy with the IDC. DCC members will be afforded the opportunity to provide insight into the development of the strategy and provide meaningful feedback that can positively impact the future of the sector.
Chemicals Imbizo: the catalyst for investment and growth
The 2016 Chemicals Imbizo was delivered as part of the Durban Chemicals Cluster’s (DCC) activities under the Investment and Growth Programme. This programme aims to facilitate investments in both capital equipment and innovation to enhance the competitiveness within the local chemicals manufacturing sector.
The 2016 event saw a significant increase in both the quantity and quality of outputs as compared to the previous year.
Africa: where's the opportunity?
The DCC has undertaken research to identify which countries are consuming more or less KZN chemicals in relation to their GDP than others, thereby identifying countries that may be underserviced and offer untapped export potential for DCC members.
Introduction to the draft carbon tax bill
The draft carbon tax bill released for comment on 02 November last year should have caught the attention of the chemicals industry. The National Treasury has indicated that it will stand firm on implementing the tax from 01 January 2017 therefore the DCC will be covering this important issue in more detail in 2016.
2015 Chemicals Imbizo: creating chemical linkages in and beyond SA
The Chemicals Imbizo, hosted by the Durban Chemicals Cluster at Moses Mabhida Stadium in Durban, saw key players in the chemicals value chain come together and create linkages within the industry. The Imbizo hosted over 150 industry representatives that participated in the various activities which included business linkage meetings, a sector conference and exhibition.
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Subscribe to our quarterly newsletter and keep up to date with the DCC’s latest activities. Our programmes are targeted to deliver on our goals to improve competitiveness and growth in the local chemicals manufacturing industry. Our newsletter highlights key learnings from these programmes as well as relevant information pertaining to the local and international chemicals manufacturing sector.