When Borealis’ 2021 half-year figures earlier this week were announced as part of OMV’s results, they looked more like end of year figures rather than a mid-year statement. The results, published for the first time as part of the consolidated statements of OMV, were spectacular thanks to what Borealis CEO Thomas Gangl, speaking during an online interview, called ‘outstanding support’ from the polyolefin margin developments. These margins have doubled year-on-year, reaching record levels not seen before in the industry. It was the right time to join the industry, joked Gangl, who was appointed CEO only in April of this year.
Borealis contributed €566 million to OMV’s operating result in the first quarter of 2021; the figure for the first half was €960 million, he said. The company’s contribution is recognised under Chemicals and Materials, and accounts for the lion’s share - 90% - of the result stated there.
Where the margins are headed next year is anyone’s guess. It also depends on the part of the world we’re looking at, said Gangl. This year, the industry in Europe has been seeing, on the one hand, extremely strong demand from the packaging industry, the hygiene product sector and the recovering automotive industry. On the supply side, however, a slew of maintenance activities in the second quarter served to considerably tighten the supply of a number of different resins.
“However, the real story-maker topic is the exceptionally high shipping costs between Asia and Europe, ” he added. “There is a shortage of containers, which means that the volumes normally supplied to Europe from Asia are not being delivered. This is driving up both the price and the margin level.”