Chemicals earnings down amid plummeting demand

Article by Adam Duckett

Big names see first-quarter figures suffer

BASF provided a stark summary of the state of the chemicals industry in late April: “It is currently impossible to reliably estimate both the length and the further spread of the coronavirus pandemic, as well as future measures to contain it. Consequently, concrete statements on the future development of sales and earnings cannot be made”.

With travel restrictions, lockdowns and large portions of the economy in stasis there’s little surprise that chemicals players have seen Q1 earnings suffer at the hands of stagnated demand.

While Chairman Martin Brudermüller said BASF’s diversified portfolio offers advantages during difficult times – he noted the rising demand for pharmaceuticals, detergents and food – this has been curtailed by drops elsewhere, most pointedly in demand from automakers. In April, year-on-year registrations of new cars in the EU fell 76%, according to figures from the European Automobile Manufacturers Association.

Article by Adam Duckett

Editor, The Chemical Engineer

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