- Sales rise; portfolio effects and positive currency effects compensate for lower volumes and sales prices
- Lower margins lead to decline in earnings
- Outlook 2013: sales growth from higher prices; earnings above prior-year level
Petrochemicals – Sales by region
(Location of customer)
In the Petrochemicals division, sales to third parties in 2012 rose by €340 million to €9,179 million, primarily due to portfolio measures (volumes –6%, prices –3%, portfolio 9%, currencies 4%). As a result of the establishment of the Styrolution joint venture on October 1, 2011, formerly internal product deliveries are now reported as sales to third parties. In addition to this portfolio effect, positive currency effects also compensated for lower volumes and sales prices.
Continuing uncertainty about further economic development had a negative impact on our market environment. The market for petrochemical products grew considerably more slowly than in the previous year, especially in Asia.
Weak market development, high product availability and increased raw material costs had a negative effect on our margins; in most product lines, they remained below the very good level of the previous year – in some cases, significantly. Income from operations declined as a result.
In Camaçari, Brazil, we began construction of an acrylic acid plant in 2012 with an intended annual capacity of 160,000 metric tons. We plan to construct a comparable facility in China, as well. In Port Arthur, Texas, we made the use of raw materials more flexible in order to take better advantage of the lower gas prices in the United States.
With volumes stable, we expect sales to rise in 2013 thanks to higher prices. Earnings are likely to exceed the previous year’s level.