Ethane advantage lifts LyondellBasell’s first-quarter polyolefins business


Polyolefin giant LyondellBasell (Rotterdam, Netherlands) saw its first-quarter 2011 EBITDA shoot up 84% over the previous quarter and 119% from the year-ago quarter, citing expanded margins. The company booked net income of $660 million off sales of $12.3 billion, which were up 15% from the previous quarter.

Although company said business was up across all its segments, it noted that improvements in its global Olefins & Polyolefins and Refining & Oxyfuels units were
"most notable", saying that both businesses increased margins in spite of significant crude oil price increases during the quarter.

Jim Gallogly, LyondellBasell CEO, said that U.S. olefins operations continued work to optimize plant operations and "take advantage of low-cost ethane", with natural gas prices falling in the states as supplies increase, while its European olefins unit experienced a recovery from fourth-quarter margins the company called "depressed"....
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