• Sales rise by 27% to €6,389 million, primarily as a result of price increases
  • Considerable increase in EBIT before special items due to higher margins

Sales to third parties in the Petrochemicals division rose by €1,354 million to €6,389 million in 2017. This was mainly due to significantly higher sales prices in all regions and in almost all strategic business units, particularly for steam cracker products. Prices largely followed the higher raw materials prices for naphtha and butane, our most important feedstock. Sales volumes rose overall. Volumes rose significantly in North America, mainly as a result of higher capacity utilization of the steam cracker and the condensate splitter in Port Arthur, Texas. In Europe, sales volumes were up slightly from the previous year: Higher volumes, especially for steam cracker products, were able to compensate for the limited volumes growth for plasticizers and in the alcohols and solvents business following the accident at the North Harbor.

Petrochemicals – Factors influencing sales
Chemicals – Petrochemicals – Factors influencing sales (pie chart)
Petrochemicals – Sales by region
(Location of customer)
Chemicals – Petrochemicals – Sales by region (pie chart)

EBIT before special items considerably exceeded the 2016 figure as a result of higher margins. In Europe in particular, margins for steam cracker products as well as for alkylene oxides and glycols rose significantly. Margins for acrylic monomers and oxo alcohols also developed positively overall, mainly due to strong demand and low product availability. The negative impact on earnings in 2017 caused by the North Harbor accident was offset by insurance payments.