Braskem SA 6-K 2009
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SECURITIES AND EXCHANGE COMMISSION
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EBITDA reaches R$ 838 million in 3Q09
Thermoplastic resins sales grew 10% in the domestic market
São Paulo, Brazil, November 3, 2009 BRASKEM S.A. (BOVESPA: BRKM3, BRKM5 and BRKM6; NYSE: BAK; LATIBEX: XBRK), the leading company in the thermoplastic resins industry in Latin America and third-largest resin producer in the Americas, announces today its results for the third quarter of 2009 (3Q09). With the merger of the Petroquímica Triunfo assets in May 2009, this release is based on pro-forma consolidated information that includes 100% of the results from this new asset for all periods stated. In accordance with CVM Instruction 247, these figures also consider the proportional consolidation of the interest in Cetrel S.A. - Empresa de Proteção Ambiental. The quarterly information was reviewed by independent external auditors.
On September 30, 2009, the Brazilian real/U.S. dollar exchange rate was R$ 1.7781/US$ 1.00.
According to Braskem CEO Bernardo Gradin:
Braskem has shown flexibility in production and inventories adjustments in a period of crisis, and similarly responded to the opportunities from the fast recover of the domestic and international markets, supporting its Customers and the Value Chain. In a year that began full of challenges, most notably in terms of demand for petrochemicals, Braskem ended the 3Q09 with EBITDA1 of R$838 million and EBITDA margin of 20.7% . Year to date EBITDA has already reached nearly US$1 billion. Contributed to the overcoming the excellent recovery of domestic demand, especially for PP and PVC in recent months, the higher-than-expected international price scenario for resins and basic petrochemicals, the personal dedication of the entire team in their relationship with the Customer and the optimization of productivity and operational efficiency. The industry current scenario continues to require caution and attention to overcome the challenges posed by the down cycle announced for 2010 and 2011. In this context, Braskem remains committed to generating sustainable results for its Shareholders, the satisfaction of its Customers and the competitiveness of the production chain, and remains determined in its strategy to pursue growth opportunities that support the Companys growing profitability through access to competitive feedstock and attractive consumer market.
1. 3Q09 HIGHLIGHTS:
1.1 Resin sales volume grows 10% in the quarter:
The third quarter was marked by continued recovery in Brazilian resin demand, which grew 9% compared to 2Q09. Meanwhile, Braskems domestic resin sales increased 10%, led by PP and PVC, which posted growth of 15% and 17%, respectively. The company also registered a record high for PP sales in a single quarter, with domestic sales volume of 202 kton.
1.2 Net revenue in U.S. dollar up 22% to US$ 2.2 billion:
The continued strong performance of the domestic market, driven by a recovery in prices for both resins and basic petrochemicals, supported net revenue growth of 22% on the prior quarter to US$ 2.2 billion in 3Q09. In Brazilian real and in the same comparison period, net revenue grew by 10% to R$ 4.0 billion.
1.3 Braskem operates at full capacity and sets new production records in the quarter:
Braskems crackers continued to operate at full capacity, with an average utilization rate of 97%. In 3Q09, the Company once again registered record ethylene production at the crackers located in the Camaçari Complex, in the state of Bahia. Resins plants also operated at full capacity in the quarter, led by PP, which set a record for quarterly production with utilization rate of 98%.
1.4 EBITDA of R$838 million, with EBITDA margin of 20.7%:
Braskem recorded EBITDA of R$838 million in 3Q09, exceeding expectations and posting EBITDA margin (i.e., in relation to net revenue) of 20.7%, 5.4 p.p. higher than in 2Q09 and in line with the levels posted in 2004. The continued growth in domestic thermoplastic demand and the higher prices for resins and basic petrochemicals in both local and export markets led to an increase of 48% in EBITDA over last quarter.
1.5 Fixed costs reduction reached R$ 98 million:
Braskem has maintained its commitment to reduce its fixed costs and in the first nine months of 2009 General and Administrative expenses (G&A) were R$ 98 million lower, a decrease of 19% over the same period of last year.
1.6 Spin-off of subsidiary QuantiQ and creation of distributor Varient:
The spin-off of QuantiQ2s polymer unit on September 1, 2009 resulted in the creation of Varient, Braskems new resin distributor. Braskem believes the new structure will create more value for clients and to the business by focusing and specializing in thermoplastic resin sales. QuantiQ will remain responsible for the distribution of chemicals and specialty chemicals, which are not part of Braskem's operational focus.
1.7 Negotiations advance for the supply of ethanol feedstock:
Braskem is currently negotiating contracts for approximately 60% of the ethanol needed to supply its ETBE and green ethylene (Green PE) plants. Today, Braskem has the capacity to consume 230,000 m³ of ethanol per year. The new green ethylene plant, located at the Triunfo petrochemical complex, will consume additional 460,000 m³ of ethanol per year.
1.8 Bahias Government signed agreement regarding ICMS (VAT Tax) on naphtha:
On October 28, 2009, Bahia’s Government published Decree 11,807 ruling over ICMS (VAT Tax) on naphtha acquired in the local market. The Decree establishes a gradual reduction in ICMS tax rate as of November 2009 reaching full deferral in April 2011. For imported naphtha, current deferral is at 65% and will be 100% as of March 2011. This is one more step towards the monetization of ICMS accumulated credits as explained on Note 9(a) of the 3Q09 Interim Financial Statements.
1.9 Conservative policy for use of derivative instruments:
With the objective of protecting its cash flow and reducing volatility in the financing of its working capital and investment programs, Braskem adopts market and credit risk management procedures that are aligned with its Financial Management Policy and Risk Management Policy, which were approved by the Board of Directors. In this context, Braskem holds no target forward operations or operations involving other similar derivatives. With practically 100% of its revenue directly or indirectly pegged to the variation in the U.S. dollar and a large portion of its costs pegged to the same currency as well, the company believes that maintaining a significant portion of its debt also in U.S. dollar creates a natural hedge. This position is based on the principle that the companys debt should always be denominated in the same currency as its cash flow. To protect cash flow in the short term, Braskem seeks to match the maturities of its dollar-denominated liabilities with its dollar-denominated revenue plus its cash investments in the same currency.
At the close of September 2009, the company held three derivative transactions for hedging purposes with maturities, currencies, rates and amounts perfectly adequate for the assets or liabilities protected. Therefore, in a given scenario, any negative or positive adjustments in derivative positions will be offset by positive or negative adjustments in the protected assets and liabilities.
The main financial indicators in the period are presented below:
2. OPERATING PERFORMANCE:
2.1 Quarterly Performance of the Polymers Unit
The international market registered strong demand and higher resin prices by the end of August, when the upward trend was reversed due to: (i) the volatility in raw material prices, (ii) new capacities coming on stream in Asia, (iii) the seasonal slowdown in Chinese demand, and (iv) the inventory reduction in Asia.
The Brazilian market continued to present a sustainable growth in demand3 for thermoplastic resins (PEs, PP and PVC), which increased by 9% versus 2Q09. In relation to the third quarter of last year, the local market grew 7%, reflecting the recovery in practically all industries related to plastics consumption. The prices in Brazilian real, even with the currency appreciation, presented an increase when compared to the previous quarter.
Braskem's domestic PEs and PP sales in the quarter increased by 3% and 15%, respectively, in relation to the second quarter of this year. The higher sales volume is explained by: (i) mainly, the continued improvement of domestic demand; (ii) the development of new applications and substitution of materials; (iii) and the higher seasonal demand in the quarter. The good performance of PP reflects the solid performance of practically all sectors of application, such as disposables, toys, automotive, etc, as well as the seasonal increase in demand from agribusiness sector. In the case of PE, the continued strong performance of consumer-goods sectors led to higher sales volume. In relation to 3Q08, PEs and PP sales grew by 1% and 17%, respectively.
Meanwhile, domestic PVC sales followed the stronger domestic demand, posting growth of 17% over the 2Q09. The higher sales volume was mainly driven by the recovery of the sectors related to construction, such as tubes and fittings, and by the continued strong demand from sectors related to consumer goods, such as food, footwear, wires and cables, among others. In relation to 3Q08, PVC sales contracted by 4%. Domestic sales recovery and market growth allowed Braskem to maintain the market share of 53%4 in the 3Q09.
The recovery in domestic sales led to a 16% drop in relation to 2Q09 in Braskems resin exports, which totaled 227 kton in the quarter.
Total resin sales volume stood at 844 kton in the quarter, growth of 1% in relation to 2Q09 and of 11% when compared to the same period of last year. The recovery in the domestic market and export opportunities allowed the plants to operate at high utilization rates, leading to production of 857 kton, up 6% on 2Q09 and 5% against 3Q08.
The trajectory of the capacity utilization rates for the main products of Braskem consolidated is shown below:
* Includes Paulínia production since September 2008.
2.2 Year-to-date performance of the Polymer Unit
Brazilian thermoplastic resins demand in the first nine months of the year contracted by some 5% in relation to the same period of 2008. The recovery in the market, which began at the end of the first quarter and intensified in 3Q09, may be sufficient to offset the weak demand at the start of the year, which was strongly impacted by the global economic recession, leading to demand in the year of around 4.2 million tons, in line with 2008.
In relation to the first nine months of 2008, Braskem's domestic PE sales fell by 10%, while PP sales have already reversed the downward trend, posting growth of 2%. Regarding PVC, sales dropped by 12%, still negatively affected by the weak performance in 1Q09.
The lower domestic demand in early 2009 and efforts to normalize inventories through opportunities in the international market led resin exports to grow by 62% on the prior year to 760 kton.
2.3 Basic Petrochemicals Performance
As occurred with resins, the third quarter scenario was marked by a recovery in international basic petrochemical prices in relation to 2Q09, reflecting: (i) limited operating rates at petrochemical complexes in Europe (scheduled and unscheduled stoppages), Middle East and China (due to operational problems); (ii) stronger demand; and (iii) higher naphtha prices, which followed the level and volatility of oil prices.
The competitiveness of natural gas over naphtha has led producers capable of using different feedstocks in their production processes to favor the use of lighter products (e.g., ethane, butane), limiting the supply of cracker co-products, such as propylene, butadiene and BTX, which maintained upward price trends until August. Lower raw material prices and uncertainty in downstream demand led prices to fall in September.
Braskems crackers continued to operate at full capacity, with an average utilization rate of 97%, supported by the stronger performance of the 2nd and 3rd generation producers in the domestic market, the continued capture of opportunities in the international market and the higher efficiency of our assets. In the quarter, Braskem set a new ethylene production record at its crackers in Camaçari, Bahia. Ethylene production volume in the quarter was 620 kton, growing by 5% and 2% on 2Q09 and 3Q08, respectively. Year to date, ethylene production volume was 1,664 kton, a 1% growth over the same period of 2008.
Ethylene and propylene sales remained stable in relation to 2Q09 at 214 kton, reflecting the recovery in utilization rates at the petrochemical complexes. In relation to 3Q08, sales grew by 25%, reflecting the higher propylene export volume and the lower volume of transfers between Braskems units.
In the case of aromatics, total BTX sales posted growth of 6% in the quarter. The window of opportunity in the export market associated with an unscheduled stoppage in 2nd generation operations at the Southern Petrochemical Complex led to a higher volume of benzene being directed to the export market, with benzene exports growing by 32% versus 2Q09.
The continued recovery in demand and prices in the international market combined with high capacity utilization rates led to a year-on-year increase of 20% in total ethylene and propylene sales in the first nine months of the year. BTX sales also increased by 20% in the same period.
3. FINANCIAL PERFORMANCE:
3.1 Net Revenue
Braskem posted net revenue in the quarter of US$ 2.2 billion, 22% higher than in the previous quarter. The effects of naphtha and condensate resale for processing at Refap and Refinaria Riograndense remained stable between the quarters. In Brazilian real, excluding or not this effect, net revenue in the quarter grew by 10% to R$4.0 billion.
Net revenue growth was chiefly driven by: (i) the recovery in domestic resin demand, with growth of 10% in domestic resin sales; (ii) higher domestic and international resin prices; (iii) increases in basic petrochemical prices in both the domestic and international markets, especially for propylene, butadiene and benzene, which combined contributed R$260 million to total net revenue growth over the previous quarter.
Export revenue in the quarter was US$579 million (27% of net revenue), up 7% from US$542 million in 2Q09 (31% of net revenue). This performance was basically due to better international prices and the increase in BTX export volumes.
Compared with 3Q08, net revenue in U.S. dollar in the quarter was down 29%, mainly due to the lower international prices in the period, which was partially offset by the growth in total sales volumes of both resin and basic petrochemicals. On the same comparison basis, export revenue in the 3Q09 accounted for 27% of net revenue, compared with 25% in 3Q08.
The variations in overall net revenue in these two quarters are shown below:
Sales to South America, North America and Europe accounted for 84% of exports in 3Q09, supported by Braskem's intensified efforts at its commercial offices in these regions. The highlight was the recovery in the regional market and the higher sales to South America, which grew by 3 p.p. compared to 2Q09. In this market, Braskem is able to practice prices similar to those in the domestic market. The downturn in sales to Asia reflects the growth in domestic sales and the focus on markets that offer higher profitability for the Company.
In the 9M09, Braskems net revenue totaled R$11.0 billion, or US$5.4 billion, which represented a 23% drop compared to the first nine months of 2008. The contraction in net revenue basically reflects the lower prices versus last year and the lower volume of domestic PEs and PVC sales.
In 3Q09, thermoplastic resin sales accounted for 58% of net revenue (ex-condensate processing and QuantiQs sales).
3.2 Cost of Goods Sold (COGS)
Braskem's cost of goods sold (COGS) was R$3.1 billion in 3Q09, a 1% increase on the previous quarter. The higher operational efficiency, resulting from the modernizations carried out during scheduled maintenance stoppages in 2008 and the high utilization rates, associated with the program to reduce fixed expenses and energy efficiency made positive contributions in the period, minimizing the impacts from the increase in naphtha prices and higher sales volume.
In relation to 3Q08, COGS declined by 28%, reflecting the lower operating and naphtha costs, given the decline in the average international naphtha price of 38% between the two periods.
The average price of naphtha ARA in the quarter was US$598/t, up 22% on 2Q09. Braskem acquires the bulk of its naphtha feedstock from Petrobras, with the remainder imported directly from suppliers in North Africa, Argentina and Venezuela.
Year to date, COGS was R$9.0 billion, down 26% from R$12.1 billion in the same nine-month period of 2008. This reduction was mainly driven by the relative decrease in naphtha prices in comparison to the same period of 2008. The average price of naphtha ARA, which in the first nine months of 2008 was US$932/t, fell to US$490/t in the same period of this year, representing a reduction of 47%.
3.3 Selling, General and Administrative Expenses (SG&A)
In 3Q09, Selling, General and Administrative (SG&A) expenses were R$293 million, down by 7% in relation to 3Q08. In relation to 2Q09, SG&A increased by R$6 million.
In the first nine months of the year, SG&A expenses decreased R$ 67 million or 8% over the 9M08, reflecting the Companys commitment to its strategy of maintaining costs and expenses within parameters that ensure its global competitiveness.
Selling expenses in 3Q09 were R$134 million, in line with the previous quarter. Compared to 3Q08, selling expenses increased R$3 million. Year to date, the increase in sales volume, mainly resins exports, led to an increase of 9% in sales expenses compared to the same period of last year.
General and Administrative Expenses in the quarter were R$159 million, increasing R$6 million from 2Q09, basically reflecting the R$10 million increase in the provision for the 2009 profit-sharing program. In relation to 3Q08, G&A expenses decreased by 11%, mainly due to the focus on fixed cost reduction since the beginning of the year. In 9M09, G&A expenses declined by 19% or R$98 million in relation to the same period of 2008.
Braskems consolidated EBITDA in 3Q09 was R$838 million, representing a 48% increase over 2Q09, mainly owing to: (i) higher resin sales volume in the domestic market, (ii) higher prices in the domestic and international markets, (iii) the continued strong performance of basic petrochemicals, and (iv) improved operational efficiency. Excluding the impact from the non-recurring adjustment of R$36.3 million in 2Q09 related to the recognition of penalties credits involving supply agreements, EBITDA growth in Brazilian real terms was 58%. EBITDA margin in 3Q09 stood at 20.7%, compared with 15.3% in the previous quarter. In U.S. dollar terms, EBITDA in the quarter was US$449 million, or 65% higher than in 2Q09.
When compared against 3Q08, EBITDA in Brazilian real grew by 15% in 3Q09, reflecting the reductions in both fixed and variable costs. In U.S. dollar, this growth was 3%.
Year-to-date EBITDA was R$1,861 million, down R$48 million on the same nine-month period of 2008. On the other hand, the Company's profitability in the period was 16.9%, versus 13.4% a year earlier. In U.S. dollar terms, EBITDA year to date was US$920 million, declining by US$212 million on the same nine-month period of 2008, reflecting the stronger Brazilian real in 2009.
3.5 Net Financial Result
In 3Q09, the financial result was a net financial income of R$243 million, compared to an income of R$1,192 million in 2Q09. This variation reflects the depreciation of 9%5 in the dollar against the real in the quarter, compared to a depreciation of 16%5 in 2Q09. In relation to 3Q08, the net financial result improved by R$1,851 million, also due to the depreciation in the dollar, with a positive impact of R$ 636 million compared to a negative impact of R$ 1.330 million in 3Q08, due to dollar appreciation of 20%5 in the same quarter of 2008.
Since Braskem holds net exposure to the U.S. dollar (in other words, more dollar-pegged liabilities than dollar-pegged assets), any shift in the path of the exchange rate has an impact on the accounting financial result. On September 30, 2009, this net exposure was: 65% of debt and approximately 45% of suppliers, which were partially offset by 27% of accounts receivable and 41% of cash. Given its heavily dollarized operational cash flow, Braskem considers this exposure adequate. Practically 100% of its revenue is directly or indirectly pegged to the variation in the U.S. dollar exchange rate, and most of its costs are also pegged to this currency.
It is important to note that foreign exchange variation has no direct effects on the Company's cash position in the short term. This amount represents the accounting impacts of foreign exchange variation, especially those on the Companys debt, with any disbursements occurring at the maturity of the debt, whose average term is 10 years.
Excluding the effects from foreign exchange variation and monetary restatement on its balance-sheet accounts exposed to foreign currencies, the net financial result in 3Q09 was a net financial expense of R$348 million, up R$122 million compared to 2Q09, mainly due to the recognition of all tax charges related to the unfavorable decision by the Federal Supreme Court (STF) regarding the IPI tax credit process, which totaled R$108 million (additional information in note 18 (i) of the Interim Financial Statements). On the same comparison basis and in relation to 3Q08, the increase was R$ 124 million, due to: (i) the increase in debt cost between the periods; (ii) interest on the receivables-backed investment fund and the provision for the IPI tax credit, as explained above; and (iii) the financial charges built into naphtha purchases abroad during the period.
The table below shows the composition of the net financial result of Braskem consolidated on a quarterly basis and in the first nine months.
With the objective of protecting its cash flow and reducing volatility in the financing of its working capital and investment programs, Braskem adopts market and credit risk management procedures in line with its Financial Management Policy and Risk Management Policy. Therefore, in September 2009, the company had three derivative transactions for hedging purposes and with maturities, currencies, rates and amounts perfectly adequate for the assets or liabilities being protected. Note that in any given scenario, negative or positive adjustments in derivative positions will be offset by positive or negative adjustments in the protected assets and liabilities.
3.6 Net Income
In 3Q09, Braskem registered net income of R$645 million, versus R$1,156 million in 2Q09. The improved operating results, with EBITDA margin of 20.7% in the quarter, and the impacts on debt from the weaker U.S. dollar were offset by the higher foreign exchange gains registered in 2Q09, when the Brazilian real appreciated by 16%, versus 9% in 3Q09.
Compared to 3Q08, net income increased by R$1,464 million, with this effect once again due to foreign exchange variation.
As a result, net income in the first nine months of the year was R$1.8 billion, R$2.1 billion higher than in the same period of 2008.
3.7 Free Cash Flow
Operating cash flow in 3Q09 was R$452 million, compared with R$891 million in the previous quarter, representing a reduction of R$439 million. The Company's better operating performance did not offset working capital needs, which amounted to R$404 million, which mainly reflected the R$474 million reduction in the Supplier line resulting from the payment flow for naphtha imports in the quarter.
Investment activities in 3Q09 include expenditures with maintenance, as well as investments in projects that assure returns above their cost of capital. Braskem is following a conservative investment policy, concentrating on priority investments that offer high returns.
Year to date, free cash flow was positive R$556 million, compared with negative R$763 million in the same nine-month period of 2008. This increase was chiefly composed of higher disbursements for investments made in 2008, as follows: (i) the final installment of R$638 million for the acquisition of the petrochemical assets of the Ipiranga Group, (ii) the final installment of R$247 million for the acquisition of Politeno, and (iii) the higher disbursements for investment projects begun in 2008, such as the scheduled stoppages at both crackers in 2Q08.
3.8 - Capital Structure and Liquidity
On September 30, 2009, Braskems gross debt stood at US$5,536 million, US$113 million higher than at June 30, 2009. Meanwhile, the balance of cash and investments in U.S. dollar increased by the same amount, reaching US$1,775 million.
Accordingly, Braskem consolidated net debt stood at US$3,764 million on September 30, 2009, basically unchanged from the previous quarter.
In Brazilian real, net debt decreased by 9% from R$7,347 million on June 30, 2009 to R$6,687 million on September 30, 2009, reflecting the U.S. dollar depreciation in the period.
With practically 100% of its revenue directly or indirectly pegged to the variation in the U.S. dollar and a large portion of its costs pegged to the same currency as well, the company believes that maintaining a significant portion of its debt also in U.S. dollar creates a natural hedge. This policy, combined with the dollar depreciation in the 3Q09, which reduced net debt, and the growth in EBITDA in the last 12 months (R$2.4 billion), led the company's financial leverage, as measured by the Net Debt/EBITDA ratio (LTM), to decline from 3.16x in 2Q09 to 2.74x in 3Q09. In U.S. dollar, the Net Debt/EBITDA ratio went from 3.25x in 2Q09 to 3.21x at the close of September. This indicator was benefitted by the stability in net debt and the increase in EBITDA in the last 12 months.
On September 30, the average term of debt was 9.8 years, practically stable in relation to 2Q09. Meanwhile, the percentage of debt pegged to the U.S. dollar is practically unchanged, from 67% to 65% at the close of 3Q09.
The following charts show Braskems gross debt by category and indexer.
The following chart shows Braskems consolidated amortization schedule on September 30, 2009.
In 3Q09, Braskem once again held a high level of liquidity, maintaining its balance of cash and cash equivalents at R$3.2 billion, effectively guaranteeing the performance of all obligations maturing within the next 24 months.
4. CAPITAL EXPENDITURE:
Maintaining its commitment to capital discipline and making investments with returns above their cost of capital, Braskem advanced on its investment plan, making operational investments totaling R$489 million in the first nine months of the year (does not include capitalized interests).
The highlight was the investments in capacity increase, more specifically the construction of the Green PE plant. By the end of the year, the purchase of equipment ahead of schedule, which reflects the excellent opportunities in the market, could accelerate the disbursements planned for the polymers plant by some R$190 million; however, this should not lead to surpassing the total amount of investment projected by the Company at the start of the year.
The amounts disbursed in the year to date are significantly lower than in the same nine-month period of 2008, when investments totaled R$1.1 billion. The main factor is the lower investment required for replacing equipment and scheduled stoppages, since in the same period of last year major scheduled maintenance stoppages were carried out at the Companys two petrochemical complexes, as well as investments to conclude Petroquímica Paulínia.
Braskem spent R$94 million on scheduled maintenance stoppages, in keeping with its objective of maintaining its plants operating at high levels of reliability. A maintenance stoppage at one of the aromatics plants at the Camaçari Basic Inputs Unit is scheduled still for this year (in November).
Uncertainty persists on the actual scope of the recovery in the global economy. However, signs of improvement in the U.S. economy and the sustainable growth of developing countries, such as China and Brazil, have reduced risk aversion, leading to stronger activity in the capital markets.
For the global petrochemical industry, the third quarter of 2009 was marked by both upward and downward moves in petrochemical prices. The recovery in resin and basic petrochemical prices initiated in June began to suffer downward pressure in mid-September, with seasonal decline in Asian demand and a reduction in naphtha prices, which followed the temporary drop in oil prices in the period.
The scenario for prices in the fourth quarter is still uncertain. Producers should maintain the disciplined balance between supply and demand, controlling the utilization rates of crackers. However, new capacity coming on line in Asia and the Middle East, combined with the recent shift in raw material price trends, should pressure industry profitability. Naphtha prices have begun to rise again, following oil prices, which are influenced by the weakening of the U.S. dollar worldwide and speculation in the financial markets on commodity prices. The price of natural gas has also resumed an upward trend and begun influencing the competitiveness of North American producers.
The materialization of lower prices in the international scenario for the last quarter of the year and the local currency appreciation should pressure prices in the Brazilian market. However, Braskem will seek to preserve the quality of its business through: (i) its productivity and cost-reduction program, (ii) partnerships with clients and the sustainability of the Brazilian petrochemical chain, (iii) analyses of the best opportunities in the export market, and (iv) its conservative policy for maintaining financial health.
Brazilian domestic resins market, which began to recover in March, reached its highest level of demand in 3Q09. Despite the seasonal slowdown in the fourth quarter, demand is expected to remain brisk through November. Other factors that continue to positively impact the market are: (i) the good performance of the food industry and other industries associated with the year-end holiday season, (ii) the construction sector (2010 elections), (iii) the seasonal high period in the agribusiness sector, and (iv) inventory levels in the chain still at levels below those in 2008.
Braskem is concentrating its resources in priority projects that offer high returns and fast payback, while maintaining its solid financial position and capital discipline during these times of uncertainty in the global economy and the beginning of another low cycle in the global petrochemical industry.
Braskem's strategy remains focused on diversifying its energy matrix and boosting its competitiveness through access to competitive raw materials, the installation of the plant to produce green polymers from renewable raw materials and opportunities to acquire or form partnerships to gain access to larger consumer markets, as part of its expansion strategy to become one of the five largest petrochemical companies in the world. Braskem continues to analyze opportunities to acquire assets in North America, where some petrochemical companies are still in fragile financial situations, as well as the opportunity to merge with Quattor with the aim of creating a more competitive national player that is better prepared to compete globally.
Propilsur, the joint venture between Pequiven and Braskem to produce polypropylene, is preparing the complement to the front end engineering design (FEED), updating the projects cost estimates and concluding negotiations for the EPC agreement with the CNO, Tecnimont and SHAW consortium. Earth-moving works on the site of the Jose Industrial Complex are already 51% complete and, in parallel with the financing structuring process with ECAs and multilaterals, financing alternatives with the development banks BANDES and BNDES are being analyzed. These alternatives will be further advanced over the coming months. The construction of the plants will begin in 2011 and operational startup is expected in 2013. Fixed investment is projected at approximately US$1.2 billion. Polimerica, the joint venture between Pequiven and Braskem to produce polyethylene, is preparing the polyethylene project design packages (PDPs), which follow the execution planning at both Basell and Ineos and are 79% complete. Negotiations were concluded with Technip for the License Agreement, FEED Agreement and EPC Base Conditions for the cracker. These agreements are serving as the basis for discussions with the Technip, JGC and CNO consortium to execute the FEED and EPC phases of the integrated complex, cracker units, polyethylenes and off-sites. Sumitomo was hired as the Projects financial advisor. Construction of the plants is slated to begin in 2011 and operational startup is expected in 2014. Fixed investment is projected at around US$3.25 billion.
Braskem has resumed studies to expand its PCV-S capacity by 210 kt, with production startup planned for the second half of 2012. Fixed investment is around US$500 million.
Turning to Peru, Braskem, Petrobras and PetroPerú continue to negotiate the renewal of an agreement that will allow for advancing the technical and economical assessment for installing an integrated project for the production of 600 kton to 1,000 kton of polyethylene using the natural gas available in Peru as feedstock. The implementation of this project could give Braskem a position in the largest integrated complex on the Pacific coast, which is fully aligned with the Company's strategy of expanding internationally and growing and consolidating its operations in the region.
The construction timetable for the Green Ethylene plant, which was approved by the Board of Directors in December 2008, continues to advance, with over 60% of the construction services already concluded. Braskem is currently in the process of formalizing the ethanol contracts for the supply of approximately 70% of the ethanol volume required for running at full capacity the green ethylene (Green PE) plant at the Triunfo Petrochemical Complex, assuring the plant's startup by the end of 2010.
Management remains committed to making Braskem a leading global petrochemical company. Brazils macroeconomic situation and financial solidity continue to represent a competitive advantage in the global market. Braskem reaffirms its commitment to sustainable growth and development, acting proactively to pursue better opportunities, seeking to create value for shareholders and increase competitiveness throughout the entire petrochemical and plastics production chain.
This press release contains forward-looking statements. These forward-looking statements are not historical data, but rather reflect the targets and expectations of Braskems management. Words such as "anticipate", "wish", "expect", "foresee", "intend", "plan", "predict", "project", "aim" and similar terms seek to identify statements that necessarily involve known and unknown risks. Braskem does not undertake any responsibility for transactions or investment decisions based on the information contained in this document.
1 In accordance with Law 11,638, the goodwill based on future profitability is no longer amortized, with the respective recoverable amounts tested on an annual basis.
Pursuant to the requirements of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, the registrant has duly caused this report to be signed on its behalf by the undersigned, thereunto duly authorized.
Date: November 3, 2009
This press release may contain forward-looking statements. These statements are statements that are not historical facts, and are based on management's current view and estimates offuture economic circumstances, industry conditions, company performance and financial results. The words "anticipates", "believes", "estimates", "expects", "plans" and similar expressions, as they relate to the company, are intended to identify forward-looking statements. Statements regarding the declaration or payment of dividends, the implementation of principal operating and financing strategies and capital expenditure plans, the direction of future operations and the factors or trends affecting financial condition, liquidity or results of operations are examples of forward-looking statements. Such statements reflect the current views of management and are subject to a number of risks and uncertainties. There is no guarantee that the expected events, trends or results will actually occur. The statements are based on many assumptions and factors, including general economic and market conditions, industry conditions, and operating factors. Any changes in such assumptions or factors could cause actual results to differ materially from current expectations.