European bio-based industry turnover jumps to 814 billion EUR despite BREXIT

06 October 2022

The "European Bioeconomy in Figures 2008 - 2019" report is now available on the BIC website. 

This yearly update of the nova-Institute’s report (commissioned by BIC) into Europe’s bio-based industries reveals that, despite significant changes in this year’s assessment due to Brexit, the bio-based industries continue to grow. The bio-based industries' total contribution  to the EU’s bioeconomy in 2019 was over 814 billion EUR, according to the the latest available data in Eurostat.  This constitutes an increase of 34 billion EUR (+4%) compared to 2018, despite removing the UK from the scope. Analysis of the 2019 Eurostat data shows that the turnover of the entire bioeconomy (including food and beverages and the primary sectors of agriculture and forestry) amounts to just over 2.4 trillion EUR in the EU-27.

Even though the latest numbers no longer include the UK, the EU’s bioeconomy turnover remained stable, which has resulted in an increase of around 25% since 2008 (the earliest data point taken into account in this yearly-updated series of nova-Institute reports).

The 2019 figures for the bio-based chemical industry (including plastics) alone, reveal a turnover of around 48 billion EUR (excluding UK) which depicts a decrease from 2018’s 54 billion EUR (including UK). The respective bio-based share has also been adjusted, resulting in a higher share, from 13.4% in 2018 to around 13.8% in 2019.

Besides the bio-based share for production value in the chemical sector and for the first time ever, this year’s report also includes the chemical sector’s bio-based share for production volume. According to our analysis, the bio-based share of the production volume of the organic part of the chemical sector amounts to 9% in 2019, increasing from 6.8% in 2008. These numbers show, that the often communicated 10% share of organic carbon in the chemical sector is a reasonable estimation. Also, the bio-based carbon share in the chemical sector is higher than usually reported by the petrochemical industry.  

The first report in this series was first published in 2016, demonstrating for the first time the macroeconomic effects generated by the bioeconomy, e.g., turnover and employment. 

For more details, the full report is available here.