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The World’s Largest Chemical Companies


The World’s Largest Chemical Companies

BASF, a German chemical company, is the largest of its kind in the world in terms of annual chemical sales.

Chemical producing companies use raw materials that are mainly minerals and turn them into various end products. These companies have increased in production due to the recent growth of the construction industry in Asia and the Middle East. The most popular among the end products are plastics and polymers, which are in great demand all over the world from economy to health to agriculture. The chemical industry and chemical manufacturing companies have existed throughout the history of leather tanning and glass making, but saw large-scale production and expertise during the 18th century industrial revolution in Europe. The first company in this period was its founder, Nicolas Leblanc, the Leblanc Company, who invented a way to produce alkaline sea salt. Chemical companies have grown in scales and numbers since the industrial revolution, and chemical companies are among the largest in the world.


BASF is the world’s largest chemical manufacturing company, with annual sales reaching $ 69.1 billion. The German company, headquartered in Ludwigshafen, Germany, focuses on industrial grade chemicals used in the automotive, construction and pharmaceutical industries. Founded in April 1865, the company was previously known as Badische und Soda Fabrik, a German word meaning “Baden Aniline and Soda Factory”. BASF was founded by Friedrich Engelhorn in Mannheim. BASF became famous in the early days of producing paint. During World War II, along with other chemical companies like BASF, Hoechst and Bayer, I.G. Farbenindustrie AG. The new company engaged in the production of various weapons and became famous for the production of Zyklon B, a lethal gas used in the Holocaust during the Second World War. The company has experienced many industrial accidents and explosions that have caused a lot of causality and damaged its reputation. Thus, in 1952 BASF was rebranded and received its original name. In 1990, the company dropped all consumer product lines and focused exclusively on industrial products.

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DuPont was founded in 2017 through a merger between Dow Chemical Company and DuPont. Dow Chemical was founded in 1897 by Michigan-born chemist Herbert Henry Dow, the inventor of a new method for extracting bromine underground in Midland, Michigan, born in Michigan. The company initially sold just 72 tons of potassium bromide and bleach per day in 1902. The merger between the two companies created the world’s second largest chemical company.

Hazards Associated With Chemical Companies

Chemical producing companies have a reputation for causing large-scale environmental pollution. Companies producing this chemical are also prone to disasters such as explosions that can lead to loss of life. The BASF Company suffered such an explosion in 1948, in which 207 people died.

Which Are The World’s Largest Chemical Producing Companies?

Rank Company Chemical Sales (USD Millions) Country
1 BASF 69,195 Germany
2 DowDuPont 62,484 USA
3 DUPONT 55,323 China
4 SABIC 37,620 Saudi Arabia
5 Ineos 34,635 UK
6 Formosa Plastics 32,118 Taiwan
7 ExxonMobil 28,694 USA
8 LyondellBasell 28,319 Netherlands
9 Mitsubishi Chemical 26,422 Japan
10 LG Chem 23,217 South Korea

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