09 November 2012 16:09 [Source: ICIS news]
By Nigel Davis
LONDON (ICIS)--High costs and the uncertain outlook are hobbling European petrochemical producers, driving uncertainty and helping to push profits down. By contrast, producers in the ?xml:namespace>
This reality has been exposed this week with companies from both sides of the Atlantic producing widely different third quarter financial reports.
Austrian oil company OMV on Thursday reported sharply lower petrochemical profits for the third quarter despite a 5% increase in sales volumes. The company said its ethylene /propylene net margin was down 18% year on year. “Petrochemical margins and volumes will continue to be under pressure as a subdued economic environment weighs on prices,” it added.
In sharp contrast,
Vinyl resin sales prices were lower in the quarter, although volumes were up, the company said, but its chlorovinyls profits were much higher.
“Going forward, we believe low-cost natural gas in
But while the low-cost position boosts enthusiasm in the sector in the
Ahead of publication of a report from German business group BDI, which forecasts continued low
There is the suggestion that energy intensive industry investment will move from Europe to the
Europeans are paying four to five times more for natural gas than in the
The competitiveness of several sectors will be affected, Bayer CEO Marijin Dekkers is reported to have said.
Financial analysts this week noted that chemical business sentiment is deteriorating not just in
“The Chemicals IFO survey shows expectations for business activity in the next six months to be significantly worse than the last survey. The latest October data-point was -24.5 vs. -15.2 in September,” it added.
“In addition, the October Chinese PMI (Purchasing Managers' Index) surveys suggest manufacturing continues to stall, whereas the September and October
US chemicals production volumes continued to improve through September, the analysts noted. But the latest data from
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