Strong profits of petrochem companies in Q1-2011 expected to continue into Q2

The recent slew of mainly higher first-quarter results from listed petrochemicals companies looks set to continue into the second quarter, with the recent fall in commodity prices potentially providing a further boost, as per Platts. Financial performance of petrochemicals companies in the first quarter has been particularly robust: Dow Chemical's Q1 net income rose 34% year-on-year to US$625 mln , while BASF's net profit more than doubled to Eur2.4 bln (US$3.5 bln) over the same period while Sinopec posted a 25% increase to US$3.15 bln.Profits are not just being driven by cost savings, but demand is being seen across all companies with volume increases and pricing power. Strong second-quarter results are anticipated for the industry. There is no pressure to cap prices as underlying demand is strong. Positive price momentum could widen profit margins in Q2.
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