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Global petchem companies’ profits surge in Q1

by Başak Ceylan -
  • 06/05/2021 (17:20)
Global oil and petrochemicals companies announced higher net profits for the first quarter of 2021. The companies’ quarterly performances were supported by buoyant polymer markets amid stronger demand. Supply constraints that resulted from the freezing weather conditions in Texas during the latter part of the quarter also supported high sales prices and margins.


SABIC’s net profits during the first quarter totalled SAR4.86 billion ($1.3 billion). This was higher than the net profits of SAR2.25 billion ($600 million) in the previous quarter and the net loss of SAR1.05 billion ($280 million) in the first quarter of 2020. Rising oil prices and a tight supply and demand balance, combined with growing global demand, were cited among key drivers.

Saudi Advanced Petrochemicals’ net profit for Q1 2021 increased by 64% to SAR171 million ($45.5 million) compared to a year earlier period, largely as a result of a 36% increase in PP sales. However, the quarterly figure was 5% lower from the previous quarter due to a periodic scheduled maintenance in Q1 2021.

Sahara International Petrochemical Company (Sipchem) announced SAR411.5 million ($28.6 million) net profit during the first quarter of 2021, up by around 30% from a year earlier period. This was largely attributed to the increase in revenue as a result of higher sales prices for most products.


Exxon Mobil Corporation announced estimated first quarter earnings of $2.7 billion, compared with a loss of $610 million in the first quarter of 2020. The strong first quarter results reflect the benefits of higher commodity prices, the company said.

Chemicals earnings reflected continued strong demand, as well as supply disruptions, particularly in North America, largely as a result of the severe winter weather in February.

Dow’s net income for the first quarter of 2021 more than quadrupled to $991 million from $239 million in the corresponding quarter last year. Packaging & Specialty Plastics segment’s net sales were $6.1 billion, up 32% versus the year-ago period.

“Resilient demand, tight market supply, disciplined price volume management and polyethylene inventory levels at five-year lows enabled momentum in polyethylene earnings,” the company’s CEO said.


LyondellBasell Industries announced net income of $1.1 billion for the first quarter 2021, indicating an increase of more than 116% over the first quarter of 2020. Compared to the previous quarter, the company’s olefins results increased about $155 million driven by an increase in margins. Higher margins were primarily due to increases in the price of ethylene and propylene outpacing higher feedstock and utility costs.

Eni’s net profit grew to €270 million ($325 million) during the first quarter of 2021, an almost five times increase compared to the first quarter of 2020. Adjusted operating result for the chemicals segment rebounded to €39 million ($47 million), compared to a loss of €65 million ($78 million) reported in the first quarter of 2020. The increase was largely attributed to the company taking advantage from unusual industry-wide disruption from extreme winter weather in the US. Higher prices amid a mild recovery of demand for plastics across all end-markets also contributed to the results.

Royal Dutch Shell’s adjusted earnings leapt to $3.2 billion in the first three months, capturing the upside from higher crude oil prices. The Anglo-Dutch company’s chemicals segment also posted $730 million in adjusted earnings, up from $381 million reported in the previous quarter.

PJSC SIBUR Holding, the largest integrated petrochemicals company in Russia, announced adjusted net profit of RUB45 billion ($600 million) for the first quarter of the year. This was higher by 83.6% quarter-on-quarter. The quarterly results were supported by a favourable market environment amid the partial lifting of lockdown restrictions and the gradual recovery of the global economy, the company noted. A temporary supply and demand disruption amid the shutdown of a number of US facilities in February was also cited among factors supporting higher sales prices.


LG Chem reported a quarterly operating profit of KRW1.4 trillion ($1.26 billion), corresponding to more than six-fold jump compared to the same period of last year. This was also the highest operating profit the Korean company ever reported. Strong demand for major products such as home appliances, medical supplies and building materials resulted in a sales revenue of KRW4.43 trillion ($395 billion).

LOTTE Chemical Titan Holding registered its highest ever performance, with a net profit after tax of RM441 million ($107 million) for the first quarter of 2021 after a net loss after tax of RM170 million ($41 million) in the corresponding quarter last year. The record quarterly performance was largely attributed to stronger product margin spreads.

China Petroleum & Chemical Corp (Sinopec) swung to a first-quarter profit of CNY18.54 billion ($2.86 billion) from a CNY19.15 billion ($2.95 billion) loss during the same period last year. A recovery in global oil prices and firm demand for refined oil products were cited among key drivers behind in the increase. The company’s chemicals segment realised EBIT of CNY8.93 billion ($1.37 billion), swinging from loss to profit as compared with the same period of 2020.
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