The Woodlands, Texas - Huntsman Polyurethanes has recorded sales of $869 million in the third quarter of 2009 (Q3), down from $1096 million in Q3 2008, the company said 4 Nov.
The decline in sales, Huntsman said, was primarily due to overall lower average selling prices - due to lower raw material costs and the strength of the US dollar against the Euro - and lower MDI (methylene diphenyl diisocyante) sales volumes caused by lower demand because of the global economic slowdown.
Sales volumes of PO (propylene oxide) and MTBE (methyl tertiary butyl ether) increased in Q3, compared to the same period last year, which was affected by the 2008 US Gulf Coast storms and lower average selling prices.
Earnings in the PU segment, however, increased to $137 million in the third quarter from $89 million in Q3 2008 due to "higher MTBE margins and sales volumes and the negative effects in the 2008 period caused by the US Gulf storms," said Huntsman.
Huntsman recorded overall revenues of $2108 million in the third quarter, down 23 percent from Q3 2008 but a 13-percent increase on the second quarter of 2009. Earnings were up to $200 million from $194 million in Q3 2008 and $96 million in Q2 2009.
"We saw improved demand across our businesses and remain encouraged by our monthly year-over-year order pattern," said Huntsman president, Peter Hutsman. "We continue to see the positive results of our decisions during the past three years to expand our Asian operations and to focus on more differentiated chemistry, while divesting our commodity chemicals and plastics businesses," he added.
"While we anticipate our fourth quarter earnings to be better than last year's results for the comparable quarter, we expect fourth quarter's earnings to be seasonally lower than those announced today," Peter Huntsman concluded. (RD)