Midland, Michigan -- Dow Chemical Co. saw its sales decline 10 percent in the second quarter, to $14.5 billion, a 6-percent drop on an adjusted sales basis. Dow said the decline was "led by Europe, which decreased 10 percent, driven by adverse currency conditions totalling more than $400 million, or 8 percent."
Dow said volumes declined 5 percent, or 1 percent on an adjusted basis, and said this came "as increasingly volatile economic conditions and related customer de-stocking occurred throughout most value chains."
Sales in its Performance Materials unit, which includes DowPolyurethanes, were $3.4 billion, down 11 percent on an adjusted salesbasis as volumes declined 5 percent and prices declined 6 percent.
Dowsaid volumes declined in all geographic areas led by Latin America,"primarily due to the shutdown of toluene diisocyanate capacity inBrazil."
On the positive side, the polyurethanes business sawgrowth in demand in Asia Pacific, driven by its new propylene oxidecapacity in Thailand. "However, these gains were more than offset byprice declines," Dow commented.
Dow said its epoxy salescontracted in the quarter due to continued softness in allylics andphenolics, and this compares with record-level sales in the year-agoperiod. Dow Automotive Systems reported price increases in mostgeographic areas, partially offsetting demand declines in Latin Americaand EMEA.
The company reported volume increases in Agricultural Sciences (up 10 percent) and Performance Plastics (up 3 percent), as well as in Asia Pacific (up 2 percent).
Overall, prices dropped 5 percent, and purchased feedstock and energy costs decreased by nearly $1 billion versus the same quarter last year, said the chemicals group. Prices declined in all geographic areas, led by Europe, which was down 8 percent, Dow added.
Earnings (EBITDA) for the quarter were nearly $2 billion.