SABIC profits up for fifth consecutive quarter

Saudi Basic Industries Corp (SABIC) beat forecasts with a fifth consecutive record profit, as Q3 profits surged 37% to 7.4 billion riyals on higher price realisation and increased output. Profits this quarter were mainly supported by Asian demand, which is also projected to support prices of its chemicals and steel products next year, despite slowing U.S growth. Earnings of the plastics unit of General Electric Co. acquired by SABIc, have also been accounted for in this quarter. Asian prices for ethylene, which costs SABIC less than US$300/ton to produce, ranged from US$1,250 -1,300/ton in Q3, compared with US$1,100-1,200/ton a year ago. Delays in bringing more global production capacity on stream and demand-growth in China and India, will probably offset a fall in demand-growth in the United States, helping to keep prices largely unchanged into 2008.
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