Poland's PKN Orlen, Czech Unipetrol see margins fall in Q4

26 January 2011 09:15  [Source: ICIS news]

PRAGUE (ICIS)--Polish petrochemical producer PKN Orlen and Czech subsidiary petrochemical maker Unipetrol saw falling margins in the fourth quarter of last year compared with the previous three-month period as sales volumes dropped, the companies said on Wednesday in trading statements.

Comparing the fourth quarter to the preceding quarter, Orlen said its model petrochemical margin fell 11% to €667/tonne ($914/tonne), while Unipetrol said its model olefins margin declined 16% to €255/tonne and its model polyolefins margin decreased 11% to €278/tonne.

However, against the margins recorded in the fourth quarter of 2009, the figures were up 11%, 6% and 11%, respectively, the companies added.

In the fourth quarter Orlen recorded a  3% year-on-year fall in petrochemical sales volumes to 1.21m tonnes, while Unipetrol saw a 4% decline in sales volumes to 425,000 tonnes.

Unipetrol added that in the fourth quarter it experienced better benzene and agrochemical sales "which more than compensated for lower polyolefins demand and the lower olefin margin … and lower polyolefin margin“.

The polyolefin margin decline was "attributed mainly to a weaker polypropylene (PP) spread", it said.

The operating result of Unipetrol for the fourth quarter would likely be positive, but worse than the result of koruna (Kc) 238m ($13.5m, €9.8m) in the third quarter, it said.

Orlen, also a refiner, did not give an operating result prediction for its petrochemicals business but in other insights into its fourth-quarter performance said it had managed to maintain stable polyvinyl chloride (PVC) sales volumes despite the breakdown of the chlorine electrolysis apparatus at subsidiary Anwil.

Assessing 2010 as a whole, it said nitrogen fertilizer sales volumes had increased 9% year on year to nearly 1.2m tonnes.

Orlen and Unipetrol are scheduled to report their full fourth-quarter results on 10 February.

($1 = €0.73)
($1 = Kc17.7, €1 = Kc24.2)

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By: Will Conroy
+44 20 8652 3214



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