The global market for chemical industry is currently a US$ 2 trillion out of which, the global Specialty chemicals industry accounted for sales of US$ 510 billion in 2008. Forty business segments in North America, Western Europe and Japan, with a combined market size of about US$ 382.5 billion, represented about 75% of total world Specialty chemicals sales in 2008. In that year, the world's five largest industries - active pharmaceutical ingredients & intermediates, pesticides, specialty polymers, electronic chemicals, oil field chemicals and construction chemicals had a market share of about 43%. The ten largest segments accounted for 62% of total annual Specialty chemicals sales.
The applications of Specialty chemicals vary enormously. These are used as cosmetic additives, water treatment products, dyes, sanitation agents, plasticizers, paints, adhesives, flavors and fragrances, paper, additives and industrial cleaners. Specialty chemicals find use in large variety of industries such as paints, adhesives, flavors and fragrances, paper, additives and industrial cleaners. The active pharmaceutical ingredients (APIS) isthe largest segment of Specialty chemicals.
Agrochemicals are mainly used for plant protection and improving crop yields. The Indian Agrochemicals industry has grown from mere Rs.400 crores (US$ 0.9 billion) in the 70's to about Rs. 7000 crore (US$ 1.36 billion). Indian Agrochemicals Industry is the 3rd largest manufacturer of agrochemicals in Asia and 4th largest in the world after USA, Japan and China. The industry derives about 50% of its revenue from exports. The average yield per hectare in India is much lower to the developed countries for almost all the crops. Around Rs. 1,00,000 crore of agricultural output is lost due to pests. The Agrochemicals industry can be broadly classified into Insecticides, Fungicides, Weedicides / Herbicidesand Rodenticides.
The Indian Dyestuffs industry consists of 900 units in the SSI sector and approximately 50 units in the organized sector. The installed capacity is estimated to be close to 1,50,000 metric tonnes per annum with an annual turnover of more than US$ 3.0 billion. India is expected to be a major player in dyestuffs industry, can aim for reaching 10 to 12 percent share of the world market over the next ten years. The industry is mainly concentrated in the two states of Gujarat and Maharashtra. It has forward and backward linkages with a variety of sectors like textiles, leather, paper, polymers, printing ink, medical use, electronics and foodstuffs. Today, the sector is a major employment provider and foreign exchange earner. India now supplies colorants that includes all types of dyestuffs, optical brighteners and dye Intermediates, particularlyfor reactive, acid, vat and direct dyes.