The Swedish chemicals industry is a strong and expanding trade sector, accounting for around 34,000 full-time jobs and consisting of about 1,000 companies. The ten largest businesses and corporates account for more than 50% of employees. Chemicals accounted for 16% of total Swedish exports in 2018 (about EUR 12 billion), and as one of the basic industries, it provides an important foundation for other industries and industrial development.

This year is expected to be another satisfying year for the industry, with a value-added sector growth rate of 0.4%. Swedish chemicals businesses will benefit from another year of low oil prices, as many companies rely on oil-derived raw materials. High demand from Europe and the U.S. is expected to partly compensate for the decline in other markets.

Compared to other Swedish business sectors, the general equity, solvency, and liquidity strengths of chemicals companies continue to remain above average. Profit margins are good and expected to remain stable in the coming months, while banks are generally willing to provide loans to the industry.

Payment practice

Payments take between 30 days and 60 days on average. Payment behaviour within the sector is generally good, with a low level of protracted payments.


While overseas demand has been the main driver of the Swedish chemical output in the past few years, Swedish chemicals companies are now increasingly facing new competition from the Middle East and Asia.

The slowdown in emerging economies like China and Brazil could reduce growth in key chemicals customer sectors, impacting some major Swedish chemicals businesses.

The insolvency level in the chemicals industry is low. However, a slight increase in insolvencies for all Swedish businesses is expected this year, largely due to upward carry-over effects from large increases in 2018.

Trade receivables risk mitigation

Third-party collections

Should your debtors fail to meet their payment obligations, Atradius Collections can help by initiating a professional collection process in Sweden. We focus on the relationships between you and your debtors at all times.

Our team of collection specialists carry out the collection process in-house, contacting the debtors both verbally and in writing whilst adhering to federal and state laws.

Legal collections

If third-party collections do not yield results, we would consider taking legal action after consulting with you.

Entering into legal proceedings is only possible with a four-day notice period to the debtor along with required documents. The debt needs to be proven to be enforceable.

If the debt is undisputed, a bailiff will issue a payment order, which equals a judgment.

If the debtor disputes the debt, the file is assigned for trial handling, regardless of the reason or the seriousness of the dispute.

If a judgment is obtained and the debtor does not pay accordingly, the file will be handed over to the bailiff’s court for execution. Wage retention is the most effective measure used by the enforcement office. This requires the debtor’s employer to withhold a certain portion of the debtor’s salary so that it can be sent to the bailiff, who can then advise the creditors on the paid amount.

Risk mitigation insights in the UK