Chemical Distribution Market Update

Read more about M&A trends and activity in this sector

Vijay Balasubramanian

Vijay Balasubramanian

Managing Director, KPMG Corporate Finance LLC

+1 551-588-1638

U.S. Chemical Distribution Industry Overview

  • The U.S. chemical wholesaling* industry is expected to grow at a CAGR of 2.1% between 2021 – 2027, driven by factors such as rising demand across various end-user industries, ongoing traction towards digitization, and growing interest for green chemicals
  • With the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, growth of chemical distributors was impacted by various supply chain issues such as port congestion, container shortages, and skyrocketing shipping costs, coupled with increase in crude oil prices.


Rise in shipping costs in the last three months



Players facing avg. delays of 11 or more days



Companies out of stock of at least one imported product


Companies reporting revenue losses due to shipping delays

As per a survey conducted in 2021 by National Association of Chemical Distributors (NACD)

  • To mitigate these supply chain challenges, distributors have been relying on inventory rebuilding, coupled with increased investments in expansion of on-shore capacity

“The Chemicals Distribution market continues to see significant M&A activity with both strategics (e.g. Azelis, Brenntag, Univar and IMCD) and sponsor backed groups actively looking to further consolidate the industry"

U.S. Chemical Wholesaling* Industry Revenue

(in $ Billions)

End-Market Segmentation - 2021 (in %)


We hope you find this information valuable, and as always, feel free to reach out if you would like to discuss in further detail. To read the full report, download the PDF below.



Chemical Wholesaling industry includes companies wholesaling chemicals and related products, including compressed gas, chemical additives and synthetic rubber. This industry does not wholesale agricultural or medicinal chemicals, paints or varnishes, fireworks or plastics materials. Definition as per IBISWorld, Chemical Wholesaling in the US Industry Report, January 2022

Sources: Broker Reports, News Articles, Wall Street Research, and other publicly available data.


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