Europe top stories: weekly summary

Author: ICIS Editorial

2020/05/04

LONDON (ICIS)--Here are some of the top stories from ICIS Europe for the week ended 1 May 2020.

LyondellBasell halts plants, reduces rates across the board as Q1 income falls 82%
LyondellBasell has halted several plants for advanced polymers and reduced rates across the board due the sharp fall in demand, the chemicals major said on Friday as it reported a fall of 82% in first-quarter net income, year on year.

BASF throws out 2020 guidance as pandemic demand impact continues to bite
BASF has abandoned its financial guidance for 2020 and cannot rule out a second-quarter operating loss as the coronavirus pandemic continues to hit end market demand, particularly from the key automotive sector, CEO Martin Brudermueller said.

INSIGHT: May heralds even more disruption and uncertainty for petrochemicals
The impact of the coronavirus lockdowns on the oil, gas and chemicals industries’ integrated value chains is radically shifting relationships and profitability.

Europe chemicals stocks slump amid bearish Q1 data, US-China trade fears

European chemicals stocks slumped on Friday as investor sentiment soured in the face of bearish first-quarter company financial data and unease over further deterioration in US-China relations.

Europe PTA, PET benefit from lockdowns but threat from fragile economies looms large
There has been a pull on purified terephthalic acid (PTA) from downstream polyethylene terephthalate (PET) applications that are considered essential amid the pandemic, but the tide may be turning despite imminent peak season.

Europe chems stocks rise as investors take comfort on stimulus, despite bleak outlook
Bleak economic conditions did not deter European chemicals stocks and main bourses to post healthy gains on Monday on the back of expectations central banks and governments will unleash further stimulus.

BASF Q2 EBIT to fall to low single digit million euros in ‘best-case’
A decline in earnings before interest, taxes (EBIT) and special items to low triple-digit digit hundreds of millions is the “best-case scenario” for BASF the second quarter of the year, with potential for levels to drop to zero or below, the CEO at the German chemicals major said on Thursday.

Eurozone Q1 GDP down nearly 4% on pandemic initial hit in March
GDP growth in the eurozone fell 3.8% in January-March, compared to the fourth quarter of 2019, due to the coronavirus pandemic, although its full effect on the economy was not fully felt until March, EU statistical agency Eurostat said on Thursday.

Italian virgin plastics tax postponement welcomed by industry, raises questions on recycling capacity
There have been mixed reactions from players in the polymers markets to the recently announced postponement of Italy’s proposed €450/tonne tax on virgin plastic.