Petroleum and natural gas resources are existential for the chemical industry. The strong increase in support for shale gas prices are only a fraction of what cost of natural gas in Western Europe or Asia. This makes the North American region, which along with the United States, Canada and Mexico are more attractive for investments and acquisitions. Angels on Friday announced the construction of a new plant, to be produced in the formic acid. The plant in Geismar, Louisiana is in the second quarter in 2014 and was the only of its kind in North America. Formic acid is used in the oil industry and the exploration of shale gas is used, but also in the manufacture of animal feed and in the de-icing of roads.
Angels were also present new growth targets for North America. BASF plans to increase its sales by 2020 every year by about five percent - through internal growth and through acquisitions. In recent years the region for the company has become increasingly important. The region is behind Europe's second most important for the largest chemical company by sales in the world. Last year, BASF made 20 percent of sales in the U.S., Canada and Mexico - some 15 billion euros with 16,000 employees. "Six or seven years ago it was only about half," says Engel, who is responsible for the region since 2011. The Group expects that the U.S. economy will grow this year by two percent, significantly higher than the European economy. "There are a number of positive aspects that support the growth in North America," said Engel. BASF benefited from about the resurgent auto industry, which produces the chemical group including paints and automotive catalysts. In addition, Engel sees positive signs in the ailing construction industry. "We are still far from the top figures of the years 2004 and 2005. But we see a slight recovery in the first three months of this year. "
I think BASF gave a passing thought to paints / coatings, but is not serious about that.
DuPont re-organized and stripped their industrial chemicals from the bigger pack that included fluorochemicals. It is a small stand alone group of traditional chemicals, some commodity chemicals, that frankly a company like DuPont does not know how to run profitably. It just seems a peculiar move unless there is a larger plan.