BASF says industrial production 'significantly weaker-than-expected'
BASF said in a statement, "Significantly weaker-than-expected industrial production negatively impacted volumes and margin development at BASF. At around 1.5% according to current estimates, growth in industrial production in the first half of 2019 was much slower than expected. The downturn in growth in the global automotive industry was particularly strong: Globally, production declined by around 6% in the first half of 2019. In China, the world's largest automotive market, the decrease was more than twice as high, at around 13%. The weak development of the agricultural sector in North America was an additional burden: Due to difficult weather conditions, the planting of key field crops in the region was down from the previous year and far below the historical average. The decrease in earnings prospects for farmers and the trade disputes led to lower demand for crop protection products. To date, the conflicts between the United States and its trading partners, particularly China, have not eased - contrary to what was assumed in the BASF Report 2018. In fact, the G20 summit at the end of June has shown that a rapid detente is not to be expected in the second half of 2019. Overall, uncertainty remains high."