Ludwigshafen, Germany -- BASF Group has reported total sales in the third quarter of 2010 of Euro 15 800 million, a 23-percent rise over sales for Q3 2009. Predicting a record year for the whole of 2010, the German chemicals giant said the sales increase for Q3 was accompanied by earnings of Euro 2213 million, representing a 77-percent rise over earnings of the previous Q3.
The chemicals group said there had been "positive business development with almost no seasonal slowdown." Nearly every business benefited from the strong demand for chemical products and "our plants had good capacity utilisation rates," BASF added, noting that growth came from all regions.
BASF's plastics business had sales of Euro 2598 million in Q3 2010 (Euro 1967 million in Q3 2009). Polyurethanes contributed Euro 1458 million (Q3 2009: Euro 1124 million) of that, with the rest from performance plastics. Income in the plastics business (EBITDA) was Euro 479 million (Euro 333 million for Q3 2009).
"We experienced strong demand for our products in the plastics segment," in Q3 2010, with sales "considerably higher than in the same quarter of the previous year," said BASF. As a result of increased raw materials costs, BASF's plastics division was able to raise prices, particularly in Performance Polymers, the company added.
In polyurethanes, BASF said that sales increased sharply "thanks to higher volumes and currency effects." Sales volumes grew in all businesses while prices stayed generally stable and business in the automotive and construction industries developed favourably.
BASF also said that margins for the basic isocyanates MDI (methylene diphenyl diisocyanate) and TDI (toluene diisocyanate) stabilised in Q3, adding that the significant earnings growth year-on-year was "primarily a result of strong demand."