Monday, May 16, 2022

Chemical manufacturers have a strong Q1

Via this week's Chemical and Engineering News, the first quarter results for 2022 (article by Alex Tullo): 

First-quarter financial results for the major US and European chemical firms are in, and they show that the industry got off to a strong start in 2022.

A couple of problems have executives worried about the quarters ahead, however. They see strict COVID-19 lockdowns in China slowing operations, and they think that inflation—exacerbated by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine—hasn’t quite finished rippling through the economy.

Sales at the world’s largest chemical maker, BASF, climbed 19% in the first quarter from the same quarter a year earlier, while earnings jumped 35%. Higher selling prices, mainly in the firm’s chemical and materials unit, drove the results.

A 60% rise in earnings helped Celanese break a profit record set during the second quarter of last year. Acetyl chemicals remain enormously profitable for the company.

At Dow, results showed solid improvement, but profit margins in its core packaging plastic business thinned because of escalating raw material costs. Eastman Chemical and DuPont posted modest declines in earnings while sales rose.

The challenge for chemical makers, particularly those in Europe, has been keeping up with climbing costs. “The war has led to drastic price increases for energy and various raw materials in Europe and a high level of uncertainty regarding future supplies,” BASF chairman Martin Brudermüller told analysts. Over the past year, costs at the firm’s European operations have risen by over $900 million.

It's good news these large manufacturers seem to be doing all right - will be a good sign (I feel) for hiring for the near future.  Will be important to see the effects of interest rate increases...

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looks like Blogger doesn't work with anonymous comments from Chrome browsers at the moment - works in Microsoft Edge, or from Chrome with a Blogger account - sorry! CJ 3/21/20