Thailand’s PTTGC swings to Q1 profit on higher petrochemical prices

Author: Pearl Bantillo

2021/05/12

SINGAPORE (ICIS)--PTT Global Chemical swung into a net profit in the first quarter of 2021 on higher product prices, increased output and sales volume, the Thai producer said on Wednesday.

in billion baht (Bt) Q1 2021 Q1 2020 % change
Sales revenue       101.9          93.0            9.6
Operating income          10.9          (7.6) -
EBITDA          16.4          (2.6) -
Net income            9.7          (8.7)    -

Improved economic conditions and fewer plant turnarounds in the March quarter, compared with the same period last year, resulted in increased sales volume, the company said.

First-quarter polyethylene (PE) average prices jumped 45% year on year, it said.

For the whole of 2021, the olefin plant utilization rate is projected at around 93% due to a planned 39-day turnaround at its olefins plant 3 from late Q3, while polymers plants’ utilization rate is expected to be around 105%, PTTGC said.

“For petrochemical products, the company has been impacted by the spread of COVID-19 only in terms of pricing, our production is still on plan,” the company said.

For aromatics, the company expects the 2021 utilization rate to be 102%, even as product spreads will remain under pressure from oversupply, it said.

It expects the paraxylene-naphtha spread to be $230-260/tonne in the second half of 2021.

“The expected demand from downstream business such as fiber and filaments industries, purified terephthalic acid (PTA), and PET [polyethylene terephthalate] bottle resin are expected to gradually recover as new PTA plants started up in this year,” it said.

The price spread of benzene over naphtha is expected to be at $190-250/tonne in the second half of the year, PTTGC said, “while the demand for downstream products such as styrene monomer (SM) is expected to recover from new production, as well as phenol”.

Over the next five years, PTTGC’s capital expenditure is estimated at $648m.

Source: PTTGC

($1 = Bt31.2)