Published On: Mon, Dec 10th, 2012

Chemical Industry in Turkey (by Semiha Unal)

SEMIHA_UNAL2The Turkish chemicals industry has been active for several decades, providing many basic and intermediate inputs to various industries due to its geostrategic importance. The industry having a strong export potential employs more than 81,500 people mainly young and talented workforce in around 4,000 companies. The industry, 70% dependent on import ( import just 1,9 % from the Netherlands, ranking 14th)   of raw material, has developed significantly and has in industry’s awareness and support concerning REACH( REACH is the Regulation on Registration, Evaluation, Authorization and Restriction of Chemicals)

Turkish chemical sector generated about $50 billion added value to the national economy in 2010 with an estimated $123 billion in production at 70-75 percent of overall capacity utilization rate. The value of chemical exports was about USD 7.5 billion in 2010, accounting a share of 6.5 percent in Turkey’s total exports. Major export products of the Turkish chemical industry are processed plastic products such as tubes, pipes, hoses and fittings. The second major export products include soaps, detergents and cosmetics, whereas other major product groups are inorganic chemicals and medicament mixtures-put in dosage. The chemical sector has a major weight in the Turkish manufacturing industry with its 6% share in GDP and a wide range of products. There are about 314 companies with foreign investment in the Turkish chemical industry, an industry that has a share of 13 percent of total foreign capital in Turkey.

The production of the sector is generally aimed at the products demanded by the manufacturing industry. The directly consumable products have a significant growth potential for many subsectors namely; petrochemicals, thermoplastics, fertilizers, organic and inorganic chemicals, pharmaceuticals, synthetic fibers and yarns, soap and detergents, paints, etc. The Turkish chemical industry has competitive power because the availability of various raw materials. Turkey is among the main producers of soda ash, chrome and boron chemicals

A total of 126 million tons of chemicals were produced in 2010. About 84% of production originates from the private sector. Most of the companies in the chemical industry, especially private sector companies, are located in Istanbul, Izmir, Kocaeli, Sakarya, Adana, Gaziantep and Ankara. The Turkish chemical industry has developed significantly in terms of quality, productivity and protection of the environment, and is in the process of adopting the EU’s Technical Standards.

Moreover, the sector has likely expansion of local refining capacity, R&D investment and training of the workforce may increase efficiency. There is room for improvement of insufficient hazardous waste processing facilities and increasing investments in the private sector.

Semiha UNAL
Business Consultant for Turkey

-Turkish Chemical Industry 2011,Turkish Chemical Manufacturers Association, August 2011

-Turkish Chemical Industry Report, Investment Support and Promotion Agency of Turkey