BASF worries about China, India

Chemical companies

SHARE THIS STORY

Martin Brudermuller.pngBASF opened its first China plant 20 years ago. Its Asian strategy focuses on China, Japan, S Korea and India.

Thus yesterday’s comments by vice chairman Martin Brudermüller deserve careful study by any company or investor who is interested in the outlook for the region.

The background was an unexpected 5% fall in BASF’s regional sales in Q1. Of course, Q1 2011 had been very strong, as buyers built stocks whilst crude oil prices rose. But crude also rose in Q1 this year, so clearly something else has been happening.

Brudermüller suggested that “the region is becoming more vulnerable”, and highlighted two key issues, which will both be familiar to blog readers:

China’s political direction. He expressed a “certain amount of unease” over the leadership transition now underway, and added that “the struggle over China’s future direction seems to be harder fought than we had imagined.”
India’s slowdown. “The political paralysis in certain areas does hold things up, and its sad to see how the country is currently falling short of its potential.”

BASF is not about to retreat from the Asian positions it has worked so long to develop. And it continues to consider further expansion in SEA, even into Myanmar, as part of its next leg of growth.

But when BASF worries about something, then the blog worries with it.

PREVIOUS POST

US home prices hit new post-crisis lows in Q1

31/05/2012

The blog is changing its regular presentation of US house price movements, to mi...

Learn more
NEXT POST

Affordability a key trend for Western markets

02/06/2012

The Red Queen in the classic book, Alice in Wonderland, would have recognised to...

Learn more
More posts
Chemicals in the eye of the storm as UK heads for a WTO Brexit on 1 January
18/10/2020

On Friday, the UK premier confirmed what many of us have expected for a long time. There is unlikely...

Read
Chemical industry has key role in helping to create a more sustainable world
20/09/2020

The chemical industry has a critical role to play in enabling the world to “build back better&...

Read
Local circular plastics solutions to replace mega projects business model
30/08/2020

NEW YORK (ICIS)–There will be a paradigm shift away from mega crackers producing massive volum...

Read
Reshoring set to create Winners and Losers as advanced manufacturing takes over
12/07/2020

Not many companies still operate in the same way as 500 years ago, or even 50 years ago. But in manu...

Read
Polyethylene’s crisis will create Winners and Losers
08/12/2019

Polyethylene markets (PE) are moving into a crisis, with margins in NE Asia already negative, as I h...

Read
Day of reckoning approaches for US polyethylene expansions, and the European industry
08/09/2019

Planning for future demand in petrochemicals and polymers used to be relatively easy during the Baby...

Read
Stormy weather ahead for chemicals
24/03/2019

Four serious challenges are on the horizon for the global petrochemical industry as I describe in my...

Read
Ethane price hikes, China tariffs, hit US PE producers as global market weakens
23/09/2018

Sadly, my July forecast that US-China tariffs could lead to a global polyethylene price war seems to...

Read

Market Intelligence

ICIS provides market intelligence that help businesses in the energy, petrochemical and fertilizer industries.

Learn more

Analytics

Across the globe, ICIS consultants provide detailed analysis and forecasting for the petrochemical, energy and fertilizer markets.

Learn more

Specialist Services

Find out more about how our specialist consulting services, events, conferences and training courses can help your teams.

Learn more

ICIS Insight

From our news service to our thought-leadership content, ICIS experts bring you the latest news and insight, when you need it.

Learn more