In the total world trade volume, chemical trade is the second largest trade field after
automobile trade. In 1998, the total import and export volume of world chemical
industry reached 999 billion US dollars. The European Union, the United States, and
Japan are the three major hegemons in world chemical trade. In recent years, the
growth rate of chemical exports from the United States and the European Union has
slowed down, with some even experiencing negative growth, while the growth rate
of imports is accelerating. This is mainly because some traditional chemical
companies have shifted their attention to new fields such as life sciences.