As financial results are posted for the first half of 2010, it becomes quickly clear that many plastics suppliers have benefitted greatly from an improving market.
At BASF, sales in its plastics business were up 48% in the second quarter compared with the weak level of the previous year. Earnings rose even more, by 153% compared to the same quarter in 2009 and also up over the first quarter of this year.
The story was similar at Bayer, where its MaterialScience division—supplier of polycarbonate and polyurethane—pulled forward in terms of sales and profits in the second quarter. "MaterialScience has left the crisis behind and saw business expand more strongly than expected. Volumes have returned to the pre-crisis level,...