Thursday, November 20, 2008

The worldwide depression is upon us

The BASF plant in Freeport is temporarily closing and recent comments from the Grand Poobah of Dow Chemical Co. ain't too encouraging either.

BASF employs 642 employees and another 542 contract workers so the effect on the Brazosport economy will be felt in quick order.

The Associated Press reported that Germany-based BASF also plans to cut production at 100 more facilities, and that a total of about 20,000 workers will be affected, the Houston Business Journal reported today.

Meanwhile, the head of Dow Chemical Co. and other "insiders" have been making hefty purchases of the company's faltering stock, typically a good sign for stock market players cause it shows that people in the know think the future looks rosy despite current difficulties.

That, however, should make working men and women here in The Petrochemical Underarm a little nervous, in our view, as it means the company is going to do its damndest to improve the bottom line -- ie., whack jobs and shutter facilities.

We point you to this Reuters story:

Dow Chemical Co. will take "radical actions" to reach earnings targets next year amid a spreading global recession, Bloomberg reported, quoting Chief Executive Andrew Liveris.

Factory closures and other cost-cutting efforts will help keep earnings in a range of $2 to $3 a share in 2009, the news agency reported, citing Liveris.

Profit may fall to a cyclical low next year and remain depressed into 2010 unless renewed growth in China helps the global economy recover, the news agency quoted Liveris as saying.

"We could be looking at a couple years of trough and severe correction," Liveris was quoted as saying.

The chemical industry will also be forced to close older factories in Europe and the U.S., where costs are higher, the news agency said, citing Liveris.

1 comment:

Isabelle said...

According to "The Facts" on Wed.:

BASF officials say one production facility at its Freeport site will be idled through December but no employees will be let go as part of companywide cutbacks brought on by the slowing global economy