Braskem, a Brazilian company that is the leader in the production of thermoplastic resins in Latin America, imported around 400,000 tons of naphtha from the counties in North Africa in the first quarter of this year.
According to the just-released company financial report for the first half of the year, a total of 1.2 million tons of naphtha were purchased in the period, and of this total, 35% came from abroad, mainly from the countries in North Africa.
The company does not inform the name of the suppliers in the report, but in the region there are various Arab countries that produce the raw material, including Algeria, Libya, Morocco and Egypt.
The first three were included as naphtha suppliers to Brazil in the first half of this year. The rest of the material used as an input by Braskem is purchased on the domestic market, from energy company Petrobras.
Braskem has identified a growth of costs due to the increase in the average price of naphtha, which rose from US$ 352 per ton in the second half of last year to US$ 445 in the same period this year, an increase of 26%.
In the first half, the price grew 30%. The depreciation of the United States dollar against the Brazilian real, however, minimized the effect, according to the company. In April, the product reached a record US$ 521 per ton.
The volume of thermoplastic resin sales in the first half of the year was 7% greater than in the same period in 2004. Company gross revenues reached US$ 2.6 billion (in current figures) in the half, with growth of 22% over 2004.
Gross revenues reached US$ 3.4 billion. In the accumulated result for the last 12 months, gross revenues total led US$ 5.5 billion.
Company profits were record for the first half of the year and reached US$ 274 million. The value reflects growth of around US$ 400 million in comparison to the same period last year, when the company posted losses of US$ 126 million. This performance is attributed mainly to the foreign market results.
The company registered net revenues of US$ 509 million with exports in the first half of the year, representing a growth of 44% over the US$ 353 million obtained in the same period in 2004.
Exports are responsible for 22% of Braskem net revenues. The company hopes to end the year with exports of US$ 1 billion.
The markets that purchase resins from the company are in North and Central America, with 47.4%, Europe, with 17%, and Africa, Asia and the Middle East, with 15.4%.
South America also presented expressive growth as a buyer as the region answered to just 16% of company export revenues in the second half of 2004.
Braskem is among the three largest private capital companies in Brazil. The company has three plants in the country and produces around 5.8 million tons of thermoplastic resin and other petrochemical products per year.
Anba – www.anba.com.br