Landscape of the European Chemical Industry 2018

Landscape of the European Chemical Industry 2018




€5.5 billion

Number of companies


Capital spending

€3.2 billion

R&D investment

€415 million

Direct employees


National contact

Procesindustrien (PI)

Karin Klitgaard

Director of Environmental Policy



Chemical industry snapshot

A growing and efficient leading industry

Denmark’s chemical industry recorded sales of approximately €5.5 billion in 2016, up approximately 27% since 2000 and 0.5% compared to 2015, providing 5.74% of national industrial output and 6.1% of value added (€2.07 billion). Thanks to its high productivity and efficiency, its workforce is 4% of the manufacturing total.

Led by exports

Since 2010, exports have grown 34% at current prices to reach 7% of export of Danish goods in 2016, and on average it has grown 5% in the same period. Approximately 65% of the Danish production is being exported.

Driven by investment in intellectual property

In 2015, the total employment in the Danish chemical industry was 11,394 people and 245 companies, a reduction of 2,030 since 2000. The investment of €670 million in 2016 was approximately 8.2% of the industrial total. Nearly two-thirds (62%) was devoted to intellectual property (R&D).

How are we doing?


  • High level of innovation
  • Excellence on safety
  • Strong environmental protection
  • Well-educated workforce
  • Outstanding quality


  • Negative perceptions of the chemical industry and a tendency to supplement EU laws with national legislation
  • High energy taxes
  • State bureaucracy: obtaining consent to develop new or existing chemical production sites is difficult
  • High labour costs
  • Lack of competitiveness compared with Asia and other countries

Our contribution to a competitive Europe

The Danish economy strengthened throughout 2015, reflected in rising GDP and an additional 66,000 private sector hirings since the 2012 turnaround.