What are the sub-industries of fine chemical industry?

In recent years, all countries in the world, especially industrialized countries, have taken the development of fine chemical products as one of the key development strategies of the upgrading and adjustment of the traditional chemical industry structure, and their chemical industry has been developing toward the direction of “diversification” and “refinement”. With the further development of social economy, people to the electronic, automotive, industrial machinery, construction of new materials, new energy and new environmental protection material demand will rise further, electronics and information chemicals, surface engineering, medicine, chemicals, etc, will get further development, global fine chemicals market size will remain higher than the speed of the traditional chemical industry is growing rapidly. In this issue, Xiaobian will talk about this topic with you.

What are the sub-industries of fine chemical industry?

Fine chemicals

Fine chemicals refer to chemicals with high technical density, high added value and high purity that are manufactured and applied in small batches that can enhance or endow a (type) product with specific functions or have specific functions. They are products of further deep processing of basic chemicals.

In 1986, the former Ministry of Chemical Industry divided fine chemical products into 11 categories :(1) pesticides; (2) Dye; (3) Coatings (including paints and inks); (4) pigment; (5) Reagents and high purity substances; (6) Information chemicals (including photosensitive materials, magnetic materials and other chemicals that can accept electromagnetic waves); (7) food and feed additives; (8) adhesive; (9) catalysts and various auxiliaries; (10) Chemical drugs (API) and household chemicals (produced by the chemical system); (11) Functional polymer materials in polymer (including functional film, polarizing materials, etc.). With the development of national economy, the development and application of fine chemicals will continue to expand, and new categories will continue to increase.

Fine chemicals have the following characteristics:

(1) A wide variety of products, wide application fields

There are 40 to 50 categories and more than 100,000 varieties of fine chemicals in the world. Fine chemicals used in all aspects of daily life, such as medicine, dye, pesticide, paint, cosmetic products, electronic materials, papermaking chemicals, printing ink, food additives, feed additives, water treatment, etc., also in the aerospace, biotechnology, information technology, new materials, new energy, environmental protection and other high and new technology are widely used.

(2) Complicated production technology

There are many kinds of fine chemicals. The same intermediate product can be extended to several or even dozens of derivatives with different uses through different technological processes. The production process is complex and changeable, and the technology is complex. All kinds of fine chemical products need to go through laboratory development, small scale test, pilot test and then to large-scale production, and they also need to be updated or improved in time according to the change of demand of downstream customers, which requires high quality stability of products. Therefore, enterprises need to continuously improve the process and accumulate experience in the process of production. Therefore, the core competitiveness of a fine chemical enterprise is the enterprise’s derivative development of fine chemical products in the subdivided field, the accumulation of experience and innovation ability in the production process.

(3) High added value of products

Fine chemical products involved in the production process is longer, more after multiple unit operation, the manufacturing process is relatively complicated, and in the process of production to meet the mild reaction conditions, the safety of operating environment, the specific chemical reaction conditions, such as chemical easily separation, high product yield, which requires a high level of technology and reaction equipment. Therefore, fine chemical products generally have higher added value.

(4) Various types of compound products

In practical application, fine chemicals appear as comprehensive functions of products, which requires screening different chemical structures in chemical synthesis, and giving full play to the synergistic cooperation between fine chemicals’ own functions and other complex substances in the production of dosage forms. Industrial production of fine chemical products demand is varied, a single product is difficult to meet the needs of production or use, in the company’s water treatment industry, for example, used in the field of specialty chemicals including algae fungicidal, scale inhibitor, corrosion inhibitor, flocculant, etc., and each use of chemicals can be made of several kinds of chemical compound and into.

(5) The product has high viscosity to downstream customers

Fine chemical products are generally used in specific fields of industrial production process or to realize specific functions of downstream products. Therefore, users have high requirements for product quality and stability, and they have strict selection process and standards for suppliers. Once they enter the supplier list, they will not be easily replaced.

Fine chemical industry classification

Fine chemical industry is the general name of fine chemical industry, referred to as “fine chemical industry”, with high added value, high investment profit economic characteristics. Fine chemical industry has high technology intensity, high added value of products, high profit rate, and development depends on scientific and technological innovation. It is the strategic focus of the development of chemical industry in the world today, as well as an important symbol of a country’s comprehensive technical level and one of the fastest growing economic fields.

1. Divided by application area

According to the classification standard of the national economy, fine chemical industry is divided into four sub-industries: the manufacture of pesticide, the manufacture of coatings, inks, pigments and similar products, the manufacture of special chemical products and the manufacture of daily chemical products.

2. By product category

With the rapid development of China’s economy and science and technology after the reform and opening up, the fine chemical industry in China has developed rapidly. According to the product category, it can be divided into two parts: the traditional field and the emerging field.

(1) Traditional fields of fine chemical industry

The traditional fields of fine chemical industry mainly include pesticides, fertilizers, coatings and other fields. After a long period of accumulation, China’s fine chemical industry has basically met the needs of national economic development in the traditional fields, and some products have gained certain international competitiveness. The output of dyes and pesticides has ranked first in the world, and the output of coatings has reached fourth in the world.

(2) Emerging fields of fine chemical industry

The emerging field of fine chemical products has the characteristics of strong specificity and high technical content, mainly including food additives, feed additives, adhesives, surfactants, paper chemicals, water treatment agents, electronic chemicals and so on. At present, the overall technical level of China’s fine chemical industry is still relatively low, and fine chemical products in some emerging fields still need to be imported in large quantities. The whole industry is in the development stage of optimization and upgrading, and the fine chemical industry in emerging fields still has a large space for improvement

Characteristics of fine chemical industry

1. Fine chemical industry belongs to the manufacturing industry and has a high degree of industrial correlation with other industries

Industries closely related to fine chemical industry mainly include: agriculture, textile industry, construction industry, paper industry, food industry, daily chemical production, electronic equipment, etc. The development of fine chemical industry is closely related to these industries.


The upstream of fine chemical industry is mainly the manufacturing of basic chemical raw materials. At the same time, the products provided by the fine chemical industry are the basic raw materials for many other industries, such as agriculture, construction, textile industry, pharmaceutical industry and other important industries. The development of agriculture, construction industry, textile industry, pharmaceutical industry, electronic industry and other related industries provides an opportunity for the development of fine chemical industry. At the same time, the development of the fine chemical industry will also promote the development of the upstream industry.

2. The fine chemical industry has the characteristics of scale economy

The production scale of foreign fine chemical production enterprises is more than 100,000 tons. In the second half of the 20th century, the global fine chemical production enterprises are represented by the United States and Japan, which are characterized by large scale and specialization, in order to continuously reduce the production cost. At present, the concentration degree of fine chemical industry in China is low, with the majority of small enterprises, and the proportion of medium and large enterprises, especially large enterprises, is relatively low.

3. Fine chemical industry is an industry with high emission of industrial pollutants

According to the 2012 annual report of environmental statistics, the chemical industry’s waste water emissions accounted for 16.3% of the country’s industrial waste water emissions, ranking second; Waste gas emissions accounted for 6% of the country’s industrial waste gas emissions, ranking fourth; Solid waste emissions accounted for 5% of the country’s industrial solid waste emissions, ranking fifth. COD emissions accounted for 11.7% of the total industrial COD emissions, ranking the third.

4. Cyclical characteristics of the industry

Fine chemical industry oriented downstream industry mainly include environmental protection plasticizer, powder coating, insulation, high temperature curing agent and other industries, end products used in all kinds of plastic products, building materials, packaging materials, household appliances, auto machinery and so on, covering many fields of national economy and the periodic characteristics of the industry itself is not obvious, but influenced by macroeconomic may change as the overall economic situation presents certain fluctuation, the industry cycle, and the whole macro economic operation cycle.

5. Regional characteristics of the industry

Seen from the regional distribution of enterprises in China’s fine chemical industry, the regional pattern of enterprises in Fine Industrial and Commercial Bank of China is obvious, with East China taking the largest proportion and North China ranking second.

6. Seasonality of the industry

Fine chemical industry has a wide range of downstream applications, generally no obvious seasonal characteristics


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