In this week's Chemical and Engineering News, this third quarter news (by Alex Tullo):
Chemical makers have been struggling to keep up in a weakening global economy, and many are reacting by trimming costs. According to earnings announcements from major producers, the chemical industry has been facing higher energy prices, particularly in Europe, where the war in Ukraine has led to dwindling supplies of natural gas from Russia. In addition, many firms are contending with softening demand for their products in Europe and other regions as consumers ease up on spending.
The world’s largest chemical maker, BASF, saw revenues increase nearly 12% during the quarter versus the year-earlier period—mostly because of higher selling prices. Volumes slid for nearly all its segments except agricultural chemicals.
BASF’s adjusted earnings rose 11%. That figure eliminates one-time items, in particular the firm’s financial interest—by way of its Wintershall Dea oil and gas unit—in the recently destroyed Nord Stream 1 pipeline, which carries natural gas from Russia to Germany under the Baltic Sea. Counting everything, BASF’s third-quarter profits were down 27%.
Earnings down for Chemours, Covestro, Dow, Eastman and LyondellBasell. Here's hoping things turn around...