The largest petrochemical company in the Americas and global leader in biopolymer production, Braskem operated its petrochemical centers at an average use rate of 86% in 2014. This rate dropped four percentage points compared to the previous year, justified by the schedule maintenance shutdowns of the Triunfo (RS) and Mauá (SP) crackers and due to restrictions on the gas supply at the Duque de Caxias Center (RJ) during the first half of the year.
The Brazilian demand for resins (PE, PP and PVC), which are used by the plastic transformation industry, reached a total of 5.3 million tons, a 1% reduction compared to 2013. During the fourth quarter of 2014, the drop was 5% compared to the previous quarter, explained by the seasonality typical of the end of the year.
Braskem’s sales of these resins mirrored the market dynamics, totaling 850,000 tons during the fourth quarter and 3.6 million tons during the year. The improved performance of the sectors associated with retail and consumer goods did not compensate the reduced performance of the segments related to durable goods, such as automotive, household appliances, the industrial area, as well as infrastructure and civil construction.
Abroad, Braskem’s performance was positive. The PP sales recorded at the United States and European business units totaled 1.9 million tons, representing a 4% increase compared to 2013. The improvement can be explained by the solid operations of the automotive, industrial and consumer goods sectors, reflecting the recovery of the North American economy and discrete reaction of the European economy.
Braskem recorded a net revenue of R$ 46 billion in 2014, representing growth of 12%. This growth was due to the depreciation of the Brazilian real, recovery of resin prices on a global scale and the improved sales volume at its United States and Europe units. The Company EBITDA was R$ 1.4 billion during the fourth quarter and R$ 5.6 billion in 2014. Braskem ended the year with a net profit of R$ 726 million. During the fourth quarter, it recorded losses of R$ 24 million.
Strong Chemistry for a Strong Brazil
Brazilian industrial production dropped 3.4% in 2014, according to data from the Brazilian Institute of Geography and Statistics (IBGE). Based on data from the Brazilian Chemical Industry Association (ABIQUIM), the average use rate of the Brazilian chemical industry – which still ranks sixth among the largest global chemical industries – was 79% in 2014, considered the lowest rate of recent years. The increased entry of imported chemical products contributed toward this result, representing 35.6% of all domestic consumption.
“At the same time in which important macro economic adjustment measures are being announced, it is crucial that the Brazilian federal government simultaneously promote and implement structuring initiatives designed to recover the competitiveness factors of Brazilian industry,” said President of Braskem, Carlos Fadigas. “This agenda is crucial if we want to reverse the Brazilian deindustrialization process and drive the growth and productivity of the industrial sector.”
At the end of February, the amendment extending the naphtha supply contract with Petrobras expires. Braskem continues to work hard to negotiate new terms and conditions for the renewal, under competitive conditions, of its long term supply contract in order to eliminate uncertainties and make new investments in the chemical and petrochemical sector feasible (Braskem).