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Higher Sales and Margins Boost Westlake Chemical Q3 Earnings
November 03, 2021

Significantly higher sales prices and margins for most of its major products lifted Westlake Chemical to a record net income of $607 million, or $4.69/share, in Q3 2021. The Q3 net profit for the Olefins and Polyethylene producer was up from $57 million in Q3 2020, which was based on net sales of $1.9 million, despite the negative impacts of Hurricane Ida.

Meanwhile, income from operations for Q3 was a quarterly record of $861 million, up from $782 million from income from operations of $79 million for the third quarter of 2020.

The company added that it did see a negative financial impact between $80-90 million due to operational issues caused Hurricane Ida and some unplanned outages, but that some of those plants have since resumed operations.

The company's Olefins Segment also had record income of $281 million in Q3 2021, up by $4 million from Q2 2021 operations of $277 million, and up by $230 million from Q3 2020 income of $51 million. The Q3 2021 increase in income from the prior quarter was driven by higher sales prices and margins for Polyethylene.

Westlake's President and CEO also noted during the earnings call that with PE capacity returning online and new capacity coming online, the inventory balance is better, and there is discussion of prices dropping through December and possibly into the early part of 2022.

"The degree of drop really depends on the supply-demand and also depends on our foreign competitors who use primarily oil-based feedstock naphtha that comes from oil refining," Chao said. "As you know, the oil price is quite high now, and depending on the winter and the temperature, there's talk about oil prices going even higher, depending how the cold winter would be and how high natural gas would be in overseas markets. So that would put a floor as to how low the US (PE) price will come down."

By Brian Balboa for The Plastics Exchange.


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