BASF Cuts 2018 EBIT Outlook On Chemicals Segment, China Slowdown

BASF says that based on the earnings data for November, it now expects a "considerable decrease" in income from operations before special items for the fiscal year 2018 in the range of 15% to 20% compared with the prior year.

BASF previously forecast a slight decline of up to 10% compared with the prior-year figure. For EBIT of the BASF Group, the company continues to expect a "considerable decline" and for sales, a slight increase of up to 5%.

BASF explained in a statement, "The significant decline in EBIT before special items compared with the prior-year figure is mainly attributable to the Chemicals segment. In particular, isocyanate prices fell more sharply and steam cracker margins were lower than expected. In addition, the low water level of the Rhine River in the fourth quarter of 2018 is expected to lead to negative earnings impacts of up to EUR 200 million, higher than previously forecast. In the third quarter of 2018, the negative earnings impact from the low water level of the Rhine could be limited to around EUR 50 million. Furthermore, BASF's business with the automotive industry has continued to decline since the third quarter of 2018; in particular, demand from customers in China slowed significantly. The trade conflict between the United States and China contributed to this slowdown."

Shares of BASF were down 26c to $17.26 in afternoon trading.


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Gary Anderson 4 months ago Contributor's comment

Much of this slowdown is so unnecessary. The US has really dealt the world a disappointing hand.