According to Chemical & Engineering News, a leading trade journal for the chemical and plastics industries, the following companies (not necessarily in order) are continually the largest plastic producers in the global marketplace based on chemical sales:
Dow Chemical, USA
INEOS Group, England
SABIC, Saudi Arabia
Formosa Plastics Group, Taiwan
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BASF, headquartered in Ludwigshafen, Germany, is the world leader in chemical sales. In 2009, BASF's overall sales topped £47.2 billion. With 150 plants around the world, plastics account for 14 per cent of the chemical giant's overall business.
Midland, Michigan-based Dow Chemical is the world's number two in revenue with £29 billion in 2009. Dow's £6.4 billion in plastics revenue comes from polypropylene, polythene and resins used for a variety of applications. Dow Chemical also claims to be the leading supplier of polythene.
The INEOS group also produces polystyrene, polypropylene, polythene and resins. Based in England, INEOS had £30 billion in overall sales in 2009. INEOS' products are used in nearly every plastic application from food packaging, to automotive parts, to household appliances. The company has 64 production facilities throughout the world.
Headquartered in the Netherlands, LyondellBasell sales for 2008 were near £33 billion, with £20.0 billion in chemical products including resins, polypropelene and polystyrene that go into making plastic products like food packaging, automotive parts and flexible piping. According to Hoover's, its largest producer of polypropylene in the world and produces more polythene than any other European company.
Number two in the Fortune 500 (behind Wal-Mart), the Houston-based petrochemical mammoth's 2009 overall sales were £196.0 billion, with around 9 per cent coming from chemical sales. Its primary contributions to the plastics market are ethylene and propylene.
Saudi Basic Industries Corporation, based in Riyadh, is the one of the world's largest producers of polythene and polypropylene next to LyondellBasell and INEOS. SABIC reported over £17 billion in sales for 2009. In 2007, the government owned company bought GE Plastics for £7 billion. (See References 5)
DuPont plastics products can be found in automotive, household, consumer, electronic products and more. The Wilmington, Delaware, based company's £16 billion in annual sales make it the number three chemical company in the U.S. after Dow and ExxonMobil.
TOTAL's subsidiary company Total Petrochemicals' plastics large sales numbers are small compared to the French oil giant's annual sales of £104.5 billion.
Formosa Plastics Group
One of the largest producers of PVC in the world, the Taiwanese company's sales in 2008 were over £3 billion.
Maybe best known as a drug company, the German company gets 24 per cent of its annual sales of £29.1 billion from its MaterialScience division, which produces its plastics products.
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