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Chemicals and the Economy

BASF prepares its UK supply chain for Brexit

BASF has been working with Ready for Brexit (the online platform I co-founded last year) as part of its programme to prepare its UK supply chain for Brexit.  Here, Ready for Brexit’s editor, Anna Tobin,  reports on the workshops that BASF has been running this month for SMEs. The world’s largest chemical business, BASF, has […]

BASF warns on outlook; Dow warns on China, ethylene cycle

BASF and Dow Chemical both warned on the outlook when presenting their H1 results last week: BASF CEO Kurt Bock warned, “We have for second quarter in the row in chemicals no growth worth mentioning . . . that is not a gratifying development.  We have the impression that there is little growth dynamic at the moment and our customers remain extremely cautious […]

World Aromatics and Derivatives Conference next week

Our 13th annual World Aromatics & Derivatives Conference takes place in Berlin next week.  Jointly organised as always by International eChem and ICIS, it features a must-hear list of speakers: ExxonMobil:  Europe Business Director Tim Stedman will give a global market overview Dow Chemical: Global Business Director Pieter Platteeuw will discuss the future for benzene […]

“BASF slashes 2015 targets on slowing global growth”

“BASF, the world’s biggest chemical maker by sales, has slashed its revenue and earnings targets for 2015, following a further weakening of the European economy and a slowdown in China.” Saturday’s Financial Times headline said it all.  BASF’s statement adds to the growing evidence of a major slowdown taking place in the global economy, and highlights how […]

BASF worries about China, India

BASF 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 […]

BASF warns on the outlook

Last month, the blog suggested that CEOs might want to warn investors of the threat to earnings from high oil prices, unemployment and economic fragility. BASF, the world’s largest chemical company, have done exactly this today. New Chairman, Dr Kurt Bock warned: “The economic risks remain: We continue to be concerned about the development of […]

Force Majeures continue to increase

Its now a year since the blog first highlighted the worrying rise in force majeures (FMs) since the Great Recession began. Most disappointingly, continuing strong profitability has not led to any improvement. In fact, as the chart shows, the position has worsened over the past 6 months. It is based on the number of FM […]

BASF warn on over-expansion and China

The blog was very interested to see a recent ICIS interview with Torsten Penkuhn, BASF’s petchem head in Asia, by Will Beacham. Penkuhn noted: “We are more and more concerned at BASF about an increasing risk of overbuilding once again. We currently see a risk that people are becoming too ambitious, enthusiastic and optimistic. And […]

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