Braskem reported EBITDA of R$9.4 billion in the nine months to September 2017. This EBITDA growth of 3% on the prior-year period was driven by the 36% increase in chemical spreads in the international market, higher sales volumes at the units in the United States and Europe and gains in the share of the polyethylene and polypropylene markets in Brazil.
In the third quarter of 2017, Braskem's EBITDA amounted to R$2.7 billion, down 9% from the second quarter of 2017, which is basically explained by the capital gain from the divestment of quantiQ in that quarter, the scheduled shutdown of the Rio de Janeiro cracker and unscheduled shutdowns at two units in Texas due to Hurricane Harvey.
Despite these two adverse situations, Braskem was able to operate its industrial units at high capacity utilization rates. In Brazil, the average capacity utilization rate of Braskem's crackers stood at 92%. Excluding the scheduled shutdown of the Rio de Janeiro cracker, the rate stood at 97%. In the USA and Europe, the average capacity utilization rate of the industrial units was 94%. In Mexico, the average utilization rate of plants rose 4 percentage points to 87%, supported by the higher supply of ethane.
"This was an atypical quarter in which we faced severe weather conditions in a short period of time, such as the hurricane that temporarily affected two units in Texas, as well as two earthquakes in Mexico that did not compromise our local production. We overcame these challenges by maintaining our rigorous people and process safety standards, which to us are nonnegotiable values," said Braskem CEO Fernando Musa.
On the commercial front, resin sales in Brazil grew 10% in relation to the second quarter, to 915 kton. In the USA and Europe, polypropylene sales volume advanced 6% in relation to the second quarter. In Mexico, priority was given to serving the domestic market, with polyethylene sales growing 53% on the same period last year, to 235 kton, with sales in September setting a new record.
In the third quarter of 2017, Braskem's net revenue grew 2% year over year to R$12.1 billion, 46% of which was generated by exports and the international units. In the third quarter, Braskem reported consolidated net income of R$764 million. In the nine months to September, net income amounted to R$3.82 billion, advancing 102% on the same period of 2016.
With a human-oriented global vision of the future, the 8,000 Team Members of Braskem strive every day to improve people's lives by creating sustainable solutions in chemistry and plastics. Braskem is the largest resin producer in the Americas, with annual production of 20 million tons, including chemical products and basic petrochemicals, and sales of R$55 billion in 2016. Braskem exports to clients in approximately 100 countries and operates 41 industrial units, which are located in Brazil, United States, Germany and Mexico, the latter in partnership with the Mexican company Idesa.
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