Chemical maker LyondellBasell Industries NV's quarterly revenue missed Wall Street's expectations and its profit was drained by high supply costs in Europe and Asia, as per Reuters. The mixed results -- profit narrowly beat expectations -- highlight the growing advantage North America has in the production of ethylene. LyondellBasell's European chemical plants use pricey crude oil-derived naphtha to produce chemicals, a process that is much more expensive than in the United States, where cheap natural gas can be used to make the same products.
"U.S. ethylene manufacturers are in a great competitive position relative to other producers," Chief Executive Jim Gallogly said in a statement. Despite the high costs in Europe, the company should see "positive momentum" for the rest of the year
In January, LyondellBasell mothballed its Berre, France, refinery, which employs 370 workers, due to poor European margins. The company said it would try to attract a potential buyer within two years. The closure dented profit at the company's refining and oxyfuels unit, which makes gasoline and other products.