Shipments of Industrial Chemical products reached their highest levels ever in 2021

Recently released preliminary data from Statistics Canada shows that shipments of Industrial Chemical products reached their highest levels ever in 2021. On a dollar basis, Industrial Chemical shipments totaled $27.7 billion in 2021, 4.4 per cent higher than the previous record set in 2018 and 31.6 per cent higher than 2020. In its 2022 Outlook for Industrial Chemicals, CIAC estimated that preliminary data would show a 31 per cent increase.  

Most chemical sub-sectors experienced record sales in 2021, led by Industrial Gas manufacturers with shipments of $1.3 billion, Resin manufacturers with shipments of $11.2 billion and Organic Chemical producers with shipments of $5 billion.  

Petrochemical manufacturers saw shipments of $6.8 billion slightly under records set in 2018. Inorganic Chemical shipments were $3 billion, a three per cent increase from 2020 levels but trailing records set in 2018. Inorganic Chemical demand in 2021 was impacted by downstream sectors that had not yet fully recovered from the impacts of COVID-19.  

Shipment data from Statistics Canada only shows the total value of products sold and does not necessarily reflect the volume of products sold. Railway shipment data released earlier in March shows that on a tonnage basis Industrial Chemical volumes were about eight per cent lower than comparable levels in 2018.  

As we progress through 2022, continued recovery in Industrial Chemical demand as the impacts of COVID-19 recede and the start-up of production currently under construction in Alberta and Ontario comes online we expect the volume of products shipped to grow in 2022.