27 July 2010 13:21 [Source: ICIS news]
TORONTO (ICIS news)--Occidental Petroleum’s chemical segment (OxyChem) saw second-quarter earnings drop 6% to $108m (€83m), from $115m in the year-earlier quarter, largely due to a “significant caustic soda price erosion” and higher raw material costs, the US-based energy and chemicals firm said on Tuesday.
The erosion in caustic soda prices - due in particular to the downturn in US housing and construction - combined with higher raw material costs, primarily for ethylene, Occidental said in explaining the year-over-year decline in chemical earnings.
Chemical segment sales for the three months ended 30 June were $1.01bn, up 25% from $811m in the 2009 second quarter.
However, sequentially chemicals earnings more than tripled from $30m in the 2010 first quarter as volumes and prices across most of the OxyChem product lines were gradually recovering, it said.
Overall, the Los Angeles-based oil and gas major reported second quarter net income up 56% to $1.1bn, largely due to higher oil and gas prices, as well as higher volumes.
($1 = €0.77)
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