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The fine and specialty chemical markets are buoyant and set to stay that way through 2014, according to companies at Chemspec Europe, a fine and specialty chemical exhibition held in Budapest earlier this month. Producers of agricultural and pharma fine chemicals were especially upbeat. In the pharma sector, “we see an explosion of activity in Phase I and Phase II clinical trials. We are very encouraged,” said John J. Nicols, CEO of biocatalyst firm Codexis. “Our project pipeline is nicely filled,” noted Wolfgang Schmitz, managing director of Lanxess subsidiary Saltigo, a contract manufacturer of pharmaceutical and agricultural chemicals. The positive market conditions in agriculture reflect the world’s steadily growing demand for food. Meanwhile, there is a return of pharma chemical manufacturing projects from China and India to Europe and the U.S., according to some Western executives at Chemspec. The event attracted close to 5,000 visitors, down slightly compared with a year ago.
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