Chemical maker BASF deplores slump in China business | Business| Economy and finance news from a German perspective | DW | 25.10.2012
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Chemical maker BASF deplores slump in China business

The world's largest producer of chemicals, BASF of Germany, has logged a marked slump in third quarter profit. Nonetheless, it's confident that full-year targets can still be met despite falling demand in China.

German-based chemical company BASF on Thursday posted a 21 percent drop in third-quarter profit. The world's largest chemical maker said net earnings dipped to 946 million euros ($1.23 billion), down from 1.19 billion euros in the same period last year.

"In the past quarter, the outlook for the world economy has once again not improved and the uncertainty on international capital markets continues," BASF Chief Executive Kurt Bock said in a statement.

Bock highlighted his company's current woes in China where demand had been falling for many months.

"We now see stabilization at the current level in China, but no visible upturn," Bock said.

Focus on profitable segments

Overall, quarterly company sales rose by 8.0 percent to 19 billion euros, the Ludwigshafen-based firm reported. BASF maintained that despite the current difficulties on global markets, it would be able to meet earlier sales and earnings targets for 2012.

The German firm based its optimism largely on its involvement in the resumption of crude oil production in Libya and solid demand worldwide for its crop protection products.

BASF confirmed it would remain on course to expand by searching for new fields of activity. The company announced it was planning to acquire Becker Underwood of the US, a firm specializing in biological plant protection technologies. BASF's subsidiary Wintershall had also signed an agreement with Statoil of Norway on the extension of oil extraction in the North Sea.

hg/kms   (dpa, AFP)