The Chemical Manufacturing subsector is based on the transformation of organic and inorganic raw materials by a chemical process and the formulation of products. This subsector distinguishes the production of basic chemicals that comprise the first industry group from the production of intermediate and end products produced by further processing of basic chemicals that make up the remaining industry groups.
This subsector does not include all industries transforming raw materials by a chemical process. It is common for some chemical processing to occur during mining operations. These beneficiating operations, such as copper concentrating, are classified in Sector 21, Mining. Furthermore, the refining of crude petroleum is included in Subsector 324, Petroleum and Coal Products Manufacturing. In addition, the manufacturing of aluminum oxide is included in Subsector 331, Primary Metal Manufacturing; and beverage distilleries are classified in Subsector 312, Beverage and Tobacco Product Manufacturing. As in the case of these two activities, the grouping of industries into subsectors may take into account the association of the activities performed with other activities in the subsector.
The subsector's revenue for the year 2008 was approximately $715.0 billion USD, with an estimated gross profit of 43.1%. Import was valued at $196.1 billion USD from 220 countries. The subsector also exported $171.1 billion USD worth of merchandise to 180 countries. Adding import value to and subtracting export value from the subsector's shipment value, the total domestic demand for the subsector in 2008 was $740.1 billion USD.