Industrial companies are installing small solar panels for households and businesses, but the solar market is stagnating as government support for smaller solar panels is declining. The UK solar market has exploded in recent years, with installed capacity rising by more than 100 megawatts in 2015, compared to just 12 megawatts in 2006. This is being supported by growing public concern about climate change and a rise in the cost of solar energy.
Industrial companies rent out shops over the Internet, some of which are delivered by post, but this industry does not include streaming services. Following the introduction of streaming services such as Netflix and Amazon Prime, the industry is undergoing massive structural change and is now highly fragmented, with only a handful of major players.
Revenues are heavily influenced by steel prices, which have fluctuated widely over the past five years. Industry revenues will fall by 14.1% annually in the four years to 2020 – 21% and a further 14% in the five years to 2021 – 22, with a 13.5% fall in the first half of this year and 14% in the next five years.
Nevertheless, import penetration remains strong during this period, which limits the industry’s performance. Demand, supported by the COVID-19 pandemic of coronavirus, has recovered in recent years, with increased demand from China, India and the Middle East. Construction of rail infrastructure related to water management has also increased, protecting revenues from significant declines, as has construction.
Britain is the world’s smallest coal producer, and production fell sharply in the early 1970s, but collapsed when a large number of mines closed in the mid-1980s. Coal accounted for more than two-thirds of electricity generation in 1990, and is expected to generate less than 5% of Britain’s electricity by 2020 – 21, up from about 40% in 1990. In the five years to 2020 / 21, industrial revenues are expected to fall by 29.2%, mainly due to the phasing out of coal and lower prices.
The organic chemical raw materials industry plays an important role in the chemical sector. Operators convert petrochemical raw materials into organic base chemicals such as olefins and process them into chemical products for industrial use.
Revenue in the sector has fallen significantly in response to the financial crisis, halving since the recession began in 2008-09, according to a report by the Institute of Economic and Social Research (IESR). The industry is therefore in a much smaller recession, and its revenues are falling significantly as a result of falling demand for its products and a fall in commodity prices. Many of these products produced by this industry are crucial for the production of food and beverages, as well as for the production of medicines.
Steel processing companies produce a wide range of steel intermediates, including steel rods, strip and wire profiles.
Normally, these would be sold as inputs to companies in other industries, but the industry’s revenues are highly volatile, reflecting the conditions of the overall economy. A decline in industrial revenues in 2015 / 16 led to a sharp fall in steel prices in the first half of 2016 / 17. However, a resurgence in steel prices the following year helped to boost industry revenues by 11.1% in 2016-17 and 7.5% by 2020.
For the production of lead, zinc and tin, the metals are extracted from ore scrap and then refined. Britain has no zinc mines and lead mining in the UK is also relatively limited. Tin mining has resumed in recent years after the last mine closed in 1998, but it is still a relatively small industry.
Over the last five years, operators have generally bought and processed the metals instead of extracting them. Operators want to protect themselves from the effects of climate change and other environmental problems such as air and water pollution wherever possible.
The concentration in this sector is moderate, with only three companies holding a market share of more than 10%, giving a total of 50.8%. It has a low atomic weight compared to other metals and is poured into many technical products, including automotive and space parts. The largest downstream markets in this sector are therefore the automotive and aerospace industries.
This is being affected by a decline in registrations and the number of cars on the road, as well as a decline in car sales. The performance of this industry is directly influenced by the amount of metals and metal ore sold in its wholesale industry.
In the five years to 2020 / 21, industry revenues are expected to contract by 2.8% per year and 1.5% over the next three years.
The main product of copper production is copper tubes and pipe connections used in the manufacture of electrical equipment such as power generators and power plants. Other key products are copper wire used for power generation, transmission and distribution, as well as copper tubes. Busbars that conduct electricity between switchgear and substations are used for power distribution. The industry is facing difficult conditions, as metal prices fluctuate widely and revenues largely follow price movements.
A renewed focus on operational efficiency has led operators to withdraw low-margin products from the market. The primary copper refinement takes place at industrial companies that process copper scrap and copper alloys.