Saudi petchems firm Sipchem’s Q3 results point to a weakening market that will also affect its Saudi petchems compatriots. China’s continued commitment to zero-Covid has deferred the expected return of demand in a key market, while the outlook in Europe and North America is bleak. This year’s higher feedstock prices are also taking their toll.

The market is weakening from 2021’s banner year, but performance is still much more solid than in 2019 and 2020 when Sipchem and its peers struggled to turn a profit. Q3 revenues of $784mn were down markedly from the previous quarter, but were still the third highest on record (see chart). Meanwhile profits of $207mn were the lowest since 1Q 2021, but were still well above those in preceding years. (CONTINUED - 480 WORDS)