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Sabic CEO warns of ‘difficult’ 2024 for chemicals industry

Sabic said better conditions in its agriculture and automotive businesses are supporting its margins Reuters/Faisal Al Nasser
Sabic remains steadfast in pursuing future growth despite short-term market challenges, said CEO Abdulrahman Al-Fageeh

The chemicals industry will face another “difficult” year in 2024 as the global economic outlook remains weak, Saudi Basic Industries Corporation (Sabic) CEO Abdulrahman Al-Fageeh was quoted as saying.

This was a bad year for the chemical industry, he told the Bloomberg news agency, adding that he was “uncertain on whether 2024 was going to have any pickup”.

“It does not seem to be,” he stated.

The company’s varied portfolio of products supported its margins, Al-Fageeh said, capitalising on better conditions in its agriculture and automotive businesses.

The CEO said that Sabic is focussing on working with Saudi Aramco to develop technology to turn crude oil into chemicals.

The two companies are aiming to funnel more crude into chemicals that will produce plastics for lightweight vehicles, batteries or mobile phones.

Sabic and Aramco are working on a 400,000 barrel-a-day crude-to-chemical facility planned for Ras Al Khair.

Sabic, 70 percent owned by Aramco, made a net loss of SAR2.88 billion ($770 million) in the three months to September 30, 2023, compared to a profit of SAR1.84 billion in the prior-year period.

The company, the world’s seventh-largest petrochemicals maker by annual sales, according to S&P Global, made a nine-month net loss of SAR1.04 billion. That compares with a net profit a year earlier of SAR16.24 billion.

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