- At €5,035 million, sales down by 12%, mainly due to price declines
- EBIT before special items slightly below previous year’s value owing to lower margins
In the Petrochemicals division, sales to third parties fell by €693 million to €5,035 million in 2016, largely owing to sharp declines in sales prices. These were predominantly brought about by raw material prices that were significantly below prior-year levels, especially in the first half of the year. Production was resumed at the Ellba C.V. joint operation plant in Moerdijk, Netherlands, enabling us to slightly increase overall sales volumes. In North America, volumes decreased mainly as a result of lower plant capacity utilization of the condensate splitter as well as of unscheduled shutdowns of the steam cracker in Port Arthur, Texas.
EBIT before special items was slightly below the previous year’s high level due to lower margins overall. Steam cracker margins fell sharply in North America, while in Europe, they once again matched the high level of 2015. Margins declined in the acrylic monomers and oxo alcohol businesses due to high product availability on the market. Margins developed positively, however, for steam cracker products in Asia and for ethylene oxide and glycols in Europe, largely driven by product scarcity on the market in the first half of the year.