The products and technologies involved in the chemical and pharmaceutical industries are used across all aspects of modern day life, from vital medicines and foods, to transport, construction, paints, plastics, leisure and electronics to name but a few.
These areas of the STEM sector play a vital role in the UK economy both in terms of employment, gross added value and exports.
The turnover of the UK chemical and pharmaceutical industry in the UK is in excess of £50 billion, with an added value of £18 billion to the UK economy. This represents 10% of the value added by the whole of UK manufacturing. The sector is also the largest exporter of manufactured goods from the UK with annual exports in excess of $50 billion. Some of the statistics related to the industries include:
- The chemical and pharmaceutical industries are the head of many supply chains with over 500,000 highly skilled employed directly and indirectly. These staff tend to be highly remunerated adding £18 billion of gross value to the UK economy every year.
- The broad chemical and pharmaceutical sector, which includes manufacturing and distribution, is the largest exporter of manufactured goods to the global economy, currently valued at £50 billion.
- Over 63% of companies involved in manufacturing in these sectors export to the whole world. This is the highest proportion of any industry sector in the UK. The EU is the main recipient of these exports with over 60% of the exports going to this market. The EU also supplies over 75% of imports in the chemical and pharmaceutical fields.
- The levels of capital investment, £4.3 billion, and research and development, £5 billion, are much higher than the nearest sectors, aerospace and automotive.
- The industry has a ned trade balance of £25m every day which compare favourably with a ned daily deficit of £300m for the rest of manufacturing.
The chemical and pharmaceutical industries have demonstrated growth of 3.4% in 2017, although it is expected that the growth figures for 2018 will be below this.
Overall the sector is in rude health, although there are a number of potential issues on the horizon primarily surrounding the uncertainty of Brexit.
If you would like to find out more about this information contact Victoria Walker.
*Statistics collated by the Chemistry Council