27 January 2009 20:03 [Source: ICIS news]
TORONTO (ICIS news)--US chemicals producer Albemarle expects to keep most of its polymer production plants in the US and overseas idle in the first quarter, CEO Mark Rohr said on Tuesday.
“We do not plan to restart these units until we have firm orders in hand,” Rohr said during the company’s fourth-quarter analysts’ conference call.
The company idled virtually all its polymer plants as demand dropped amid a fourth-quarter economic decline that was as “far greater than we ever expected,” Rohr said.The near-term goal for ?xml:namespace>
“I have never seen a higher degree of uncertainty about where these markets are going,” Rohr said.
“It’s really very difficult to deal in a market where the uncertainty not only of our customers but also of our customers’ customers is so high.”
“There are rumblings out there that post-Chinese New Year volumes are going to start picking back up, but we are taking that with a grain of salt,” he added.
Albemarle had put an anti-oxidant expansion in China on hold, Rohr added. Originally, the project was expected to start this summer.
But Albermarle executives on the call said the company remained financially strong and would seek out acquisition opportunities amid the downturn.
Apart from acquisitions,
($1 = €0.76)
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