Monday, November 27, 2023

C&EN: "Tough times for Japan’s chemical makers"

Looks like the grim times aren't just in Germany, but are also in Japan (article by Katsumori Matsuoka): 

Japan’s three biggest chemical companies are seeing their earnings suffer from a slump in basic chemicals. All three experienced a sharp drop in profits in the first half of fiscal 2023, which ended Sept. 30, and one of them, Sumitomo Chemical, is forecasting a loss of $655 million for the full fiscal year.

For all three firms, petrochemical demand has declined due to the slow recovery of the Chinese economy and other factors. Sale prices have been slumping.

Sumitomo, the only Japanese chemical company with global petrochemical operations, posted a $306 million loss in its petrochemical division in the first half of the fiscal year due to poor performance at facilities in Japan, Singapore, and Saudi Arabia. In addition, the company’s pharmaceutical segment had a $451 million loss due to patent expiration for the antipsychotic drug Latuda. Its overall loss for the period was $666 million.

My old model of the chemical industry was that "bad times for the chemical industry portends bad news for the economy in general" but I guess I'm not really sure that the model holds as of late? Or holds for the US economy, anyway? 

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