Celanese predicts flat year in acetyls on Europe softness

31 January 2012 19:23  [Source: ICIS news]

HOUSTON (ICIS)--Chemicals producer Celanese predicts a flat year for 2012 in the acetyls business because of a decline late last year, the company said on Tuesday.

Operating profits in Celanese’s acetyls intermediates division dropped by 28% in the fourth quarter from the same quarter in 2010 from destocking because of reduced demand, particularly in Europe, from weak economic conditions, the Texas-based company said.

This year should bring continued low-growth in acetyls, said Celanese chief financial officer Steve Sterin during an earnings conference call.

“Flat this year, but a little softer in the first half as we come out of the European softness,” Sterin said of Celanese’s acetyls business.

Acetic acid is one of Celanese’s flagship products.

CEO David Weidman said China prices have been moving up in recent weeks to around $420/tonne. In the US, FOB (free on board) export prices currently range $530-595/tonne, as assessed by ICIS.

Celanese reported on Tuesday full year 2011 net earnings of $607m (€461m), up by 61% from $377m in the prior year.

($1 = €0.76)

By: Lane Kelley
+1 713 525 2653

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