Chemical giant SABIC posts another loss

RIYADH (AFP) – Saudi petrochemicals giant SABIC yesterday posted its second quarterly loss in a row for the three months to March, blaming low prices and a slump in demand due to coronavirus.

SABIC, one of the world’s largest chemical firms, said it made a loss of SAR950 million (USD253 million) in the first quarter of 2020 compared to a net profit of USD909 million in the same quarter last year.

SABIC logged a loss of USD192 million in the fourth quarter last year.

It attributed the latest loss to “certain non-recurring charges, a challenging product-pricing environment and lower demand underpinned by COVID-19.”

It also set aside USD290 million for a plan to suspend production at one of its chemical plants in Spain.

“Product prices remain challenged with no improvement in the supply/demand balance for key products in the first quarter of 2020 compared to the previous quarter,” Chief Executive Yousef Abdullah al-Benyan said in a statement.