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Resilience to regeneration

Steve Elliott from the Chemical Industries Association looks at how the UK chemical industry bucked the downward trend in 2020 and how it will continue to thrive

For the UK chemical industry, 2020 was meant to be a year of preparing for the end of the transition period between the UK and EU before getting to grips with our subsequent new trading relationship. Although this still transpired, it was overshadowed by the onset of COVID-19 and the subsequent lockdowns and economic fallout.

The chemical industry is a foundation industry, supplying products to 95% of UK industries including all aspects of manufacturing. It is therefore understandable to expect that chemical production would mirror that of the economy as a whole, or at least follow the path of the manufacturing sector, however this was not the case in 2020.


The chemical industry was one of only two manufacturing industries (the other being pharmaceuticals) that increased production in 2020. This robust...

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