China firms dominate Asia chems Top 10

22 September 2008 00:01  [Source: ICIS news]

LONDON (ICIS news)--China's Sinopec dominates Asia's Top 10 chemical companies, excluding Japan, according to analysis published by ICIS Chemical Business on Monday.

The emergence of ChemChina, however, demonstrates the potential for further local investment by local players and for more overseas investment, ICB said.

India's Reliance Industries seems almost certain to be challenging for a higher slot in the table in future years as it brings on stream more refinery-based polypropylene (PP), paraxylene (PX) and a cracker complexes. It is also looking to build overseas gas crackers with GAIL (India).

LG Chem, number one among the South Koreans, has a reasonably strong overseas presence in vinyls in China, and is looking to build a gas cracker in the Middle East.

SK Energy, also South Korea, has taken a 35% stake in a cracker project in China with Sinopec, to capitalize on its refinery expertise. The Formosa Group could eventually crack the China conundrum by overcoming a ban on investing in a refinery-cracker on the mainland. Its companies are already a formidable force through expansions in Taiwan and in downstream plants in China.

Thailand's Cementhai Chemicals, the chemicals subsidiary of the Siam Cement Group, makes the overall Top 100 and could be on the rise through new capacity.

PTT Chemical, its partly state-owned domestic rival, is "bubbling under" - just outside the Top 100. It, too, is adding capacity.

Both firms could also move up the table if they become big suppliers to underdeveloped southeast Asian neighbours, and possibly even southern China, through direct investments and improved road links, according to ICB.

The Top 10 regional analysis, published on Monday in ICB, forms part of the ICIS Top 100 chemical company listing.

You can download the top 100 table here.

Top 10 Asian chemical companies ($m)

Company name Sales '07 % Change to '06* Operating profit '07 % Change to '06* Net profit '07 % Change to '06*
Sinopec 32,998 12.0 - - - -
ChemChina 17,400 69.6 - - - -
Reliance Industries 13,210 14.0 1,773 17.2 - -
LG Chem 11,551 16.3 817 122.7 734 113.0
SK Energy 7,937 35.3 543 10.7 - -
Formosa Chemicals & Fibre 7,398 n/a - - 1,558 48.5
Formosa Plastics 5,598 n/a - - 1,562 58.6
Orica 4,910 3.1 722 47.0 434 7.7
Cementhai Chemicals 4,374 6.2 462 -6.2 570 15.7
Petronas 3,844 14.4 - - - -
 * In local currencies source: company data

You can download the table of top 10 Asian companies here.

By: John Richardson
+65 6780 4359

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