Monday, May 8, 2023

C&EN: "First-quarter chemical results fall"

In this week's C&EN (article by Alex Tullo): 
Major chemical makers are happy about their first-quarter results, even though sales and earnings were generally down from the prior year. Executives had thought the period would be rougher than it turned out to be and are taking solace in a few bright spots in the economy.

The German chemical maker Covestro saw sales decline by 20% and earnings run at a modest loss for the quarter. In a video posted on the company’s website, CEO Markus Steilemann blamed “the general economic condition and the weak demand that we were facing.”

However, Steilemann noted that earnings before taxes were $316 million, about twice as high as Covestro expected.In remarks to analysts, BASF CEO Martin Brudermüller said that chemical production had stagnated compared with the year-earlier quarter, and the weakness was most pronounced in Europe.

Sales at the firm, the world’s largest chemical maker, declined by 13%, and earnings fell 29%.

Broadly not great news for the economy - will be important to see if this trend continues... 

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