Chemical Trading – How to Get Into the Business

Chemical trading has never been a more accessible or viable venture. Yet, its entry is often difficult due to fluctuating prices and large multinational corporations controlling key market sectors.

As frequent shocks require greater economic resilience in all economies, local production must increase, as well as an influential global trade system – something we work towards making happen.


Chemical trading involves managing and repurposing industrial chemicals that would otherwise be considered waste to generate revenue streams from excess supplies. Working with an experienced team that understands all aspects of this practice is vital to safely and efficiently complete each chemical trading transaction and maximize profit from each chemical trade transaction.

Chemical pricing is an integral aspect of the industry, so staying abreast of trends and news surrounding its pricing is vital. Chemical prices are determined by several complex factors, including capacity and demand and new chemical production capacity; to gain a clearer view of pricing, use a non-competitive model.

Starting, it is advised to focus on base chemicals as they are less costly than specialty ones and offer more potential customers. Selecting an area of the market can help you learn about the industry and negotiate prices more easily; specialty chemicals can be explored further, although their specialist nature requires higher product knowledge and additional documentation requirements.

There are various resources for finding current prices of bulk chemicals, such as suppliers, searchable databases of business research articles, and chemistry encyclopedias. Furthermore, networking groups or traditional networking events can also be beneficial when searching for the current pricing of chemicals.

The chemical trading industry is highly competitive, making it essential to stay abreast of market trends and news to make intelligent business decisions. ICIS offers industry-leading chemical data and insight that enables businesses to thrive in volatile markets – this includes price discovery/forecasting/operating schedule/turnaround information/supply/demand trade dynamics analysis, and comprehensive production economics models. Furthermore, they can provide insights and research supporting other activities, including investment decision-making/supply chain management.


Logistics are paramount when it comes to chemical trading. You need to know how best to transport, store, and handle these materials – not always an easy feat since many are regulated and potentially hazardous – while adhering to local, state, and international shipping laws and being flexible enough as prices fluctuate at any moment.

To safely ship chemicals and comply with all regulations, you require a team of professionals who can collaborate seamlessly. For instance, when importing chemicals from another country into the U.S., you will need assistance navigating all of its complex regulatory and paperwork requirements – you must also ensure your logistics provider can manage this process, as failure could have serious repercussions.

Rinchem Company, Inc. provides reliable third-party assistance. Their 65,000-square-foot chemical logistics facility in Hollister, California, can store regulated and non-regulated chemicals and provide regional/long haul transportation and freight forwarding/supply chain consulting services.

Rinchem Logistics not only offers comprehensive logistics services but can also assist in helping reduce your environmental footprint. Their “green” supply chain solutions reduce safety stocks and truckloads, thereby cutting back on shipments and miles traveled; additionally, they can use newer and cleaner technologies that help lessen impactful footprints.

As the global chemical industry rebounded from financial turmoil, companies should explore repurposing surplus chemicals as a cost-effective and safe means to turn industrial waste into revenue streams. Before embarking on any attempt at repurposing, however, it’s essential to consult your industrial waste disposal team beforehand to ensure proper handling and avoid costly penalties.


The global chemical industry produces life-enhancing products and technologies essential to economies worldwide, with an annual trade totaling $2 trillion. At its heart is global manufacturing; contributing to economic growth across many sectors; employing millions worldwide while helping people live longer, healthier, and happier lives; supporting over 83 million jobs worldwide, and offering better living standards to many others; while being at the heart of economic development. Our future depends on chem traders and suppliers working in an open trading environment.

The 29th ICCA Chemical Dialogue meeting will occur from 22-23 August in Chiang Mai, Thailand, and features an Industry Pre-meeting and a plenary session. It serves as the premier regional forum that brings government authorities, industry, and trade stakeholders together to foster innovation, ensure high standards of protection for human health and safety, as well as environmentalism, and overcome any potential trade barriers.

This year, the US and China have engaged in a trade war damaging chemical industries on both sides of the Pacific. President Donald Trump initiated this fight by imposing tariffs on 1,300 Chinese and American products; his taxes are designed to punish Beijing for supporting domestic companies while opposing global competition.

While the trade war may have negatively impacted some chemical stocks, it has also created opportunities for buyers and sellers alike. One large chemical company found it could use its financial strength to convince a supplier to supply material on long-term contracts; they agreed, and thus the buyer reduced inventory risk significantly.

Specialty and consumer chemicals have proven worth as EU27 exports and imports, while basic inorganics and polymers experienced the most significant deficits. The top 10 EU27 trading partners represented 70% of the extra EU27 chemical trade flow during 2021.

As much as the market for chemical trading remains strong, its growth is expected to moderate slightly due to stagnant chemical consumption in developing markets. Third-party distribution will remain essential in driving further market expansion.


Asset managers – huge institutional investors such as asset managers – consider risk an essential element of their business, as they specialize in identifying, measuring, and controlling financial risks on behalf of their clients. And recently, a new form of risk has made headlines: chemical hazard.

Risk management programs provide quantitative and qualitative benefits to any company, particularly one whose profits rely on volatile commodities like petrochemicals. While hedging is sometimes seen as unfavorable, when conducted within the guidelines set by an appropriate risk management policy, it can help decrease price fluctuations by mitigating pricing volatility.

Chemicals are indispensable to modern life, yet they also contribute significantly to climate change. With consumers and regulators pushing companies to be more accountable for their environmental impact, some have invested in renewable materials – though this can pose its own set of difficulties – performing as promised or finding markets for them may prove challenging.

One of the most significant risks facing chemical producers today is unreliable raw material prices and supplies. Many chemicals rely on inputs such as oil and gas, metals, and minerals that may change dramatically in price and availability – creating unpredictable production costs and ultimately impacting profit margins.

Chemical producers face increasing risks related to sustainability initiatives and legal liabilities. These risks include regulatory investigations, investor-driven shareholder lawsuits, and increased societal pressure to reduce carbon footprint. Investors, in particular, are pushing chemical firms to produce safer alternatives to existing chemicals or disclose any impact their current products might have on greenhouse gas emissions.

As a result, the global chemical pollution crisis is creating new and ever-increasing vulnerabilities for businesses of all kinds – not only those involved with producing or using hazardous chemicals. If they wish to survive in the future, these businesses must make significant adjustments or risk irrelevance and decline.