NPRA '08: BASF US can handle economy woes

31 March 2008 23:10  [Source: ICIS news]

SAN ANTONIO, Texas (ICIS news)--BASF’s petrochemicals business in North America is weathering the economic downturn but it could be hit in the near future, a senior company executive said on Monday.


“Impact thus far has not filtered down to demand for our products,” said petrochemicals group vice-president Peter Cella.


“It could be coming. There could be a delayed affect three, six, nine months out that we’re just not seeing yet,” added Cella on the sidelines of the 33rd National Petrochemicals & Refiners Association (NPRA) meeting.


Cella said there had been some decline in demand, especially in the construction, housing and automotive sectors, but it was not seen as dramatic.


“We could always benefit from stronger demand but we have not seen a significant decline in volumes of demand.”


Feedstock prices were also presenting a challenge to the business, said Cella.


“Margins are not where we would like them to be,” he said, adding that they were trying to exploit more advantaged feedstocks.


“In petrochemicals we are focused on doing the things in our operations and our plants to be the most competitive and profitable under the market conditions that are handed to us,” he said.

By: Graeme Paterson
+44 20 8652 3214

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