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Edited Transcript of OCI.AS earnings conference call or presentation 25-Nov-19 3:00pm GMT

Q3 2019 OCI NV Earnings Call

Nov 29, 2019 (Thomson StreetEvents) -- Edited Transcript of Oci NV earnings conference call or presentation Monday, November 25, 2019 at 3:00:00pm GMT

TEXT version of Transcript

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Corporate Participants

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* Hans Zayed

OCI N.V. - Director of IR

* Hassan H. Badrawi

OCI N.V. - Group CFO & Executive Director

* Nassef Onssy Naguib Sawiris

OCI N.V. - CEO & Executive Director

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Conference Call Participants

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* Devind Kullar

* Faisal Al Azmeh

Goldman Sachs Group Inc., Research Division - Research Analyst

* James Maxwell

* Lisa Hortense Maria De Neve

Morgan Stanley, Research Division - Equity Analyst

* Roger Neil Spitz

BofA Merrill Lynch, Research Division - Director and High Yield Research Analyst

* Samuel Perry

Crédit Suisse AG, Research Division - Research Analyst

* Senan Kiran

Muzinich & Co., Inc. - Credit Research Analyst

* Stef Abelli

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Presentation

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Operator [1]

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Ladies and gentlemen, thank you for standing by, and welcome to the Orascom Construction Industries N.V. Third Quarter 2019 Results Conference Call. (Operator Instructions) I must advise you that this conference is being recorded today, Monday, the 25th of November 2019.

I would now like to hand the conference over to our speaker today, Director of Investor Relations, Hans Zayed. Thank you. Please go ahead.

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Hans Zayed, OCI N.V. - Director of IR [2]

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Thank you, and good afternoon, and good morning to our audience in the U.S. Thank you for joining the OCI N.V. third quarter conference call. With me today are Nassef Sawiris, our Chief Executive Officer; Hassan Badrawi, our Group Chief Financial Officer; and also Ahmed El-Hoshy, our new Group Chief Operating Officer.

On this call, we will review OCI's key operational events and financial highlights for the quarter, followed by a discussion of OCI's outlook. As usual, at the end of the call, we will host a question-and-answer session.

As a reminder, statements made on today's call contain forward-looking information. These statements are based on certain assumptions and involve certain risks and uncertainties, and therefore, I'd like to refer you to our disclaimers about forward-looking statements.

Now let me hand over to Hassan.

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Hassan H. Badrawi, OCI N.V. - Group CFO & Executive Director [3]

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Thank you, Hans, and thank you all for joining us today for the Q3 results call. As we flagged during our last conference call and in recent publications, we took advantage of the usual seasonal slowdown in the summer to execute planned turnaround projects, efficiency improvement and various debottlenecking projects at 11 plants at 4 of our production sites, which included Egypt, Algeria, United States and the Netherlands. You can see from the results that this was an unusual concentration of planned shutdowns, as this was reflected in our production volumes, EBITDA and a higher-than-average CapEx for the quarter. Nassef will elaborate on this a little more later, but the program has been very successful and prepares us to transition towards our run rate and our next phase of volume-driven growth in 2020, reflecting a combination of new facilities coming online, the step-up from Iowa and Algeria versus the planned shutdown that they had in 2019. And these were 2 of our -- these are 2 of our highest-margin businesses and the effect of the normalization of our methanol plants following some extent of outages in 2019.

If I look at our operational performance first, our total own-produced sales volume decreased by 5% to 2.2 million metric tons during the third quarter of 2019 compared to the [same quarter] last year. The concentrated impact of the planned turnaround in Iowa, Algeria, Egypt and the Netherlands offset the volume growth and the ramp-up of our new methanol capacities.

On the nitrogen side, I'd like to highlight 3 nitrogen products in particular. Firstly, our North American UAN volumes improved despite the 4-week debottlenecking project in Iowa, as the U.S. application season was extended into early third quarter due to weather-related delays during the spring season.

Secondly, we sold 9% more CAN volumes in the first 9 months of 2019 compared to the same period last year, which included a record second quarter as end users purchase product later in the season. So there was some volatility and reallocation between the quarters, yet overall, for the 9 months, the volumes were up.

Our diesel exhaust fluid, or DEF, business in the U.S. continue with strong growth trajectory and volumes set another quarterly record.

Methanol volumes increased by 25% during the quarter. We achieved full production from BioMCN's first line, which was down for a planned turnaround during the third quarter of 2018, and we have some additional benefits from the start-up of our new capacity in the Netherlands.

As we have already planned in October, during the launch of our new bonds and in our press release today, Natgasoline was down from August until the end of October due to an isolated incident related to a waste heat boiler, but the incident was fully insured. Despite the shutdown, Natgasoline's volumes were up year-on-year as it benefited from a full month of production in July.

Turning briefly to the financial results for the quarter. Because of the lower volumes as well as lower methanol and ammonia prices, our third quarter revenues decreased to $634 million, and our adjusted EBITDA was $107 million. European gas prices dropped considerably through the second and the third quarter, reaching record low quarterly levels. We did not get the full advantage of the lower gas price in Europe because of a 3-month hedge, which matured during the third quarter, resulting in a $28 million realized loss as a one-off.

Looking to the results of our nitrogen platform, the adjusted EBITDA for the European and U.S. segments were up with solid performance at our IFCo and Duch operations. The MENA region performance was a bit down, mainly because of the planned turnaround effect. Adjusted EBITDA of our methanol business, on the other hand, was down despite the year-on-year and quarter-on-quarter improvement of our methanol operations in the Netherlands. This was mostly because of the previously mentioned shutdown at Natgasoline as well as the impact of lower methanol prices.

Turning to the balance sheet, our cash flow performance. Our debt reached $4.1 billion as of 30th of September 2019, almost at the same level as of 30th of June 2019. Free cash flow before growth CapEx during the quarter was only marginally negative of $29 million. This was despite a healthy CapEx quarter of $139 million, of which $78 million pertained to maintenance CapEx during that period -- maintenance expenses and CapEx. And of which growth CapEx of $61 million was mostly for the refurbishment of our methanol experiment and for final settlement payments to contractors related to other growth projects in the east. We also consolidated the opening balance sheet for our new joint -- newly concluded joint venture with ADNOC, Abu Dhabi National Oil Company, for the first time as we closed the transaction on the 30th of September 2019. This has a net positive effect on our net debt of around $46 million.

Finally, I would like to highlight that we successfully completed a $1.4 billion equivalent refinancing through a dual-tranche bond offering in the U.S. and -- in U.S. dollars and euros in October. The refinancing is a reduction in our cost of debt by about 90 bps for the portion of refinanced debt as we continue to optimize our cost of funding and maintain focus on strict financial policy geared towards deleveraging.

I would now like to hand over to Nassef for further commentary.

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Nassef Onssy Naguib Sawiris, OCI N.V. - CEO & Executive Director [4]

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Thank you, Hassan. With the extensive turnaround and debottlenecking program behind us, I would like to thank the whole team for the excellent and timely execution. We successfully completed this ambitious program and have already seen the effects. The program was extensive and covered almost all our nitrogen facilities. But if I look on a like-for-like basis outside the planned turnarounds, production levels at all our nitrogen facilities were robust. We achieved material improvement in onstream performance and cost efficiency. I'm particularly pleased with our significantly improved performance in Iowa. For example, the ammonia plant has beaten previous record utilization levels several times since its restarted in August and has been running at consistently high levels in the 116% of nameplate area on average during the past few months. The downstream plants are doing extremely well. Executing 2 sizable turnarounds within 6 months is a significant achievement by the management team in Algeria, and here, we have also seen a positive effect. The plant's ammonia lines have reached higher levels than before the turnarounds, with one of the lines reaching above 100% and the second line above 93% of nameplate capacity. These numbers were never achieved since start-up and were a result of the installation of a brand-new risk advisor.

Our methanol operations were negatively impacted by the unplanned shutdown at Natgasoline and low methanol price. Natgasoline had a comprehensive insurance and has already received an insurance prepayment of USD 30 million for loss of business and repairs. The insurance proceeds will be reflected in the fourth quarter results. I'm pleased to say that the plant restarted at the beginning of November and is currently running at close to nameplate capacity.

Turning to our overall outlook. We are now reaching our run rate production levels as we have completed our growth capital expenditure program during the third quarter this year, and we expect to also benefit from the 2019 turnarounds and debottlenecking initiatives. As a result, we expect a meaningful step-up in production and consequently, our sales volumes in addition to benefiting from better conversion economics following the turnaround. Our position on the cost curve is supported by favorable gas prices and a fully ramped up production platform will be a main driver for our performance next year.

Commenting on our nitrogen operations. Shorter term, our global order book for the fourth quarter is robust based on commitments to supply urea to India and the fast-growing Ethiopian market. So a combined total is almost 700,000 tons for delivery over the next few months. For next year, all the work we performed this summer has set us up to grow our volumes significantly. Firstly, we expect a significantly lighter turnaround program in 2020 compared to this year. And importantly, as Hassan highlighted earlier, we expect the biggest increases in volumes to come from our lowest cost plants in Iowa and Algeria. Iowa has the added benefit that we expect our DEF volumes to be robust in 2020. This product has low seasonality and high margins compared to urea. Our new JV, Fertiglobe, will also bring advantage. We have further strengthened our competitive position following the close of this transaction on 30th of September. The consolidation of the joint venture has resulted in the addition of 2.1 million metric tons per annum capacity to our platform and we expect to generate substantial synergies.

The India and Ethiopia tenders also showed the benefits of the JV as we can benefit from the (inaudible) to other primary export markets.

Then if I look to our methanol business. In 2020, like our nitrogen business, we expect a substantial increase in our production volumes, and we -- as we benefit from the first full year of the new methanol capacities in U.S. and Europe. Prices are at a trough level hitting marginal cash cost curve despite some recent improvements after the ROEs were reached in July. However, with the expected increase in volumes, especially coming out of Iran and our position at the low end of the growth of the cost curve, we continue to be well placed.

Finally, gas prices are looking very favorable for our preparations. In Europe, gas prices have continued to be at close to record low levels, and we believe there has been a structural shift in the European gas markets. As such, we expect prices to remain within a bandwidth of $3 to $5 per MMBtu, with the exception of weather-driven volatilities. This is a result of high liquidity in LNG markets, competing with Russian imports. We expect to benefit fully from the low gas price environment from the fourth quarter onwards.

In the U.S., Henry Hub remains as a surprise and well below last year. The forward curve suggests this will stay like this for the foreseeable future. This will continue to keep our U.S. operations at the very low end of the global cost curve.

In conclusion, even if markets continue to be as volatile as they have been recently, we believe that our position on the global cost curve for all our operations, together with the volume growth, will allow us to generate robust free cash flow and continue business acceleration.

With that, I will open the line for questions.

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Questions and Answers

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Operator [1]

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(Operator Instructions) And our first question comes from the line of Roger Spitz from Bank of America.

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Roger Neil Spitz, BofA Merrill Lynch, Research Division - Director and High Yield Research Analyst [2]

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Starting with ADNOC Fertilizers, can you provide the LTM Q3 '19 sales and EBITDA of the -- of ADNOC Fertilizers, not the JV, just ADNOC?

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Nassef Onssy Naguib Sawiris, OCI N.V. - CEO & Executive Director [3]

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I wouldn't have that -- those numbers readily available. I mean, the transaction closed September 30. So we'll have to give you that another time.

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Roger Neil Spitz, BofA Merrill Lynch, Research Division - Director and High Yield Research Analyst [4]

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Can you provide any update on the review of strategic alternatives for methanol? When do you expect the review to be complete, and have you started any auction process for methanol?

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Nassef Onssy Naguib Sawiris, OCI N.V. - CEO & Executive Director [5]

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No, we never said that we're starting an auction process. We're just in the review, and we always said that this is going to be completed by Q1 next year.

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Roger Neil Spitz, BofA Merrill Lynch, Research Division - Director and High Yield Research Analyst [6]

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Q1. How much was available under the September -- at September 30, '19, how much is available under your revolver?

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Nassef Onssy Naguib Sawiris, OCI N.V. - CEO & Executive Director [7]

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Right now considering also some of the other initiatives, I think we are -- we have only $150 million drawdown out of over $1 billion. So you can say that we have an undrawn -- close to $800 million of undrawn under the revolver.

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Roger Neil Spitz, BofA Merrill Lynch, Research Division - Director and High Yield Research Analyst [8]

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Okay. And last is what was the Q3 impact -- EBITDA impact of all the outages and turnarounds?

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Nassef Onssy Naguib Sawiris, OCI N.V. - CEO & Executive Director [9]

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It's tough to quantify, given the pricing that's tough. But you can fairly assume that between the turnarounds and the hedge on the gas, we're close to $100 million would be a rough number.

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Operator [10]

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And our next question comes from the line of Lisa De Neve from Morgan Stanley.

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Lisa Hortense Maria De Neve, Morgan Stanley, Research Division - Equity Analyst [11]

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A couple of questions from my side. So first on the hedges, you had a $28 million realized loss on European gas hedges in the quarter. And I'm just wondering if you could provide a little bit more detail if you have any additional outstanding hedges. And also how you opportunistically sort of broadly take actually positions in gas contracts going forward across the U.S. and in Europe? That's my first question. And then second question is related to working capital. Over the last 2 years, you actually had quite some nice working capital inflows in the fourth quarter. And I'm just trying to understand what the moving parts will be this fourth quarter? And if you can provide sort of any qualitative guidance around that? And then lastly, on the back of your new bonds, you have a number of covenants, and I know you've met all your covenants as per third quarter end. And I'm just wondering if you could highlight a little bit of whether there would be any risk to your covenants for the full year? Or what -- how you would easily meet them?

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Nassef Onssy Naguib Sawiris, OCI N.V. - CEO & Executive Director [12]

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So I'll start by the last question. So there are no risks for the covenants. We can confirm that. And then back to the hedging strategy. So we thought that when -- gas prices in Europe, for the first time, started to be under $5, and in that range that this was a feasible time to lock in that price. What we didn't figure out is a bit of weather impact and the quick ramp-up of U.S. LNG exports that happened as a result of some of the additional LNG capacity coming on stream without take-or-pay commitments because some of them -- those commitments kick off later. And the result is in a flood of the gas market in Europe. And so that hedge did not play out very well. Going forward, we have limited hedges. Going forward, I would say, less than 10% of our 2020 needs are hedged, and some of them are in a collar form that is actually -- has little impact on the actual realized price.

Your third question was on the working capital. It has to do with seasonality. We typically see a faster buying towards November and December, and that usually helps contribute to better working capital by year-end. So that's a pattern on the season. You're seeing with the India and Ethiopia tender coming in that we have a very solid backlog. So working capital is -- should be under control.

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Operator [13]

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And our next question comes from the line of Senan Kiran from Muzinich

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Senan Kiran, Muzinich & Co., Inc. - Credit Research Analyst [14]

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So just to confirm the impact -- EBITDA impact from Q3 was around $100 million. Is that right?

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Nassef Onssy Naguib Sawiris, OCI N.V. - CEO & Executive Director [15]

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Yes.

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Senan Kiran, Muzinich & Co., Inc. - Credit Research Analyst [16]

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Is there any expected? Because I know...

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Nassef Onssy Naguib Sawiris, OCI N.V. - CEO & Executive Director [17]

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I would say a bit more because some of it, the insurance. So if you add, the Natgasoline impact, it will be a bit more than that. But again, those $30 million will come into Q4. So the one-off, yes. It will be close to maybe like $130 million.

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Senan Kiran, Muzinich & Co., Inc. - Credit Research Analyst [18]

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Okay. So the impact was $130 million, $30 million, which will be compensated by the insurance payment in Q4. Are you expecting any further payments from the insurance claim?

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Nassef Onssy Naguib Sawiris, OCI N.V. - CEO & Executive Director [19]

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We cannot comment on that because this is work in progress. But usually, the insurance companies would pay in advance when they feel that the advance is a portion of the final claim, but we cannot comment on that because it's still under discussion.

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Senan Kiran, Muzinich & Co., Inc. - Credit Research Analyst [20]

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Okay. And then in Q4, because I think one unplanned outage run into Q4, as we stand now, are you able to give us a guidance as to the one-off impact for Q4?

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Nassef Onssy Naguib Sawiris, OCI N.V. - CEO & Executive Director [21]

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No. I mean, the impact will be of Natgasoline for October, which we discussed. And we had a small outage, but not material that is -- since -- has started up. But Q4, we have -- so far are very happy with the improved production levels in Iowa, in Algeria, in Egypt, in Abu Dhabi, in Holland, of course, debottlenecking. So most of the plants are running well.

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Senan Kiran, Muzinich & Co., Inc. - Credit Research Analyst [22]

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Okay. And lastly, in terms of free cash flow generation for the last quarter of the year, you briefly touched on working capital, what should we expect in terms of free cash flow generation for Q3?

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Nassef Onssy Naguib Sawiris, OCI N.V. - CEO & Executive Director [23]

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If you know the prices, you can do the math, but we -- it's obviously a function of where prices will be in December. And that will be one of the major items to look on the cash flow conversion.

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Senan Kiran, Muzinich & Co., Inc. - Credit Research Analyst [24]

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If we -- maybe specifically on working capital then, if we expect the prices are where they are today and do not move until the year-end, do you expect working capital to be a source of cash or usage of cash for Q4?

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Nassef Onssy Naguib Sawiris, OCI N.V. - CEO & Executive Director [25]

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I'd rather not comment on that because it has also to do with the uptake of deliveries and any whether impact. I mean, we have seen, for example, in the U.S. major drawdowns in ammonia last week, if that trend continues for the coming few weeks, but these are all very time sensitive, and some of the demand might be shifted in CAN, for example, from December to January and February in Europe. So it's very difficult to exactly predict that. But in general, the plants are running well, and we have a good order book on urea. So the rest is pricing and dispatch.

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Operator [26]

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And next question comes from the line of Devind Kullar from Moon Capital.

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Devind Kullar, [27]

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So two from my end. First, so given we've seen weakness in nitrogen pricing lately, if this pricing environment persists, would you explore opportunities to acquire assets with ADNOC? And then the second question is coming off a weak spring application season in the U.S., can you talk a little bit about customer inventory levels today relative to normal fall season, and how this could maybe impact customer purchasing activity going forward?

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Nassef Onssy Naguib Sawiris, OCI N.V. - CEO & Executive Director [28]

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So on the first question, we don't like to comment on any initiatives. I mean, we -- when the opportunity came to consolidate the export market and we find like-minded partners, we created the JV. In the U.S., we created a JV with Dakota Gasification that was nonequity related, but is already generating significant synergies for both partners. So we continue to look at opportunities that make sense for us.

On the inventory level, we believe that inventory levels, both in the U.S. and in Europe, are significantly below where they were last year.

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Operator [29]

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Next question comes from the line of Sam Perry from Crédit Suisse.

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Samuel Perry, Crédit Suisse AG, Research Division - Research Analyst [30]

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So the equity story for you guys for a long time surrounded ramping to full capacity but for a number of quarters, you've had unplanned outages, delayed ramp-ups. How can we gain confidence into 2020 that these are nonrecurring? And then, I guess, off the back of that, what you estimate as being the total EBITDA impact of these outages year-to-date? Or what can we expect the incremental EBITDA from the lack of outages to be next year at current market prices?

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Nassef Onssy Naguib Sawiris, OCI N.V. - CEO & Executive Director [31]

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I think you have to differentiate between outages and turnarounds. So turnarounds are planned well in advance, almost a year in advance. So we just made sure that most of the turnarounds happened in the time of the softest period of the month in Q3 other than the unforeseen major outage in Natgasoline, which was insured, so we cannot forecast that and cannot give you an answer on that, but you can get comfort in that we are covered for business interruptions and all that against everything that is unforeseen. But to give you some guidance, the number of days of planned turnarounds in 2020 is roughly half the number of days of the planned turnarounds we have for 2019. So that is in terms of the lost production as a result of these turnarounds.

In addition, our CapEx for maintenance for turnarounds for 2020 is lower than 2019, despite the addition of $60 million of CapEx for the ADNOC facilities, which was not included this year. So on a like-for-like basis, we're looking at reduced maintenance CapEx. So shorter number of days without production and lower maintenance CapEx.

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Operator [32]

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Next question comes from the line of Faisal Al Azmeh from Goldman Sachs.

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Faisal Al Azmeh, Goldman Sachs Group Inc., Research Division - Research Analyst [33]

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This is Faisal from Goldman. Just a quick -- a few questions on my end. Maybe on Natgasoline, if you can just provide some color on effectively what caused the unexpected shutdown and whether the issue is now behind us? Then just on minority. So obviously, we've seen the numbers now actually -- are now revised higher with the JV. Just a question on Sorfert's minority as part of the total number, does that now reflect the economic interest in Sorfert? Or is it still effectively the ownership that was historically stated in that business? And maybe the JV require you to effectively rethink how you account the minority interest of Sorfert on the balance sheet? And then finally, on urea outlook, just maybe if you can shed some color on how you view supply growth next year, particularly Chinese exports as well? That would be quite helpful.

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Nassef Onssy Naguib Sawiris, OCI N.V. - CEO & Executive Director [34]

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I'll start with the last question because I was waiting for that question for a long time on the Chinese exports. What we see is a distorted number that is labeled as Chinese exports. So a portion of the Chinese exports are labeled as reexports, which are basically Iranian product that goes into China and comes out as Chinese exports. Now that number, which is labeled reexports, in our view, is way understated from the actual reexports because the Iranian plants are running at full capacity. If we take what is -- the public domain as having gone to Brazil, which is over 1 million tons directly to Brazil and what has gone to Turkey, quite a sizable portion has gone to China, and some of it ended in the Chinese market and was replaced by exports from other plants that are coastal, that wouldn't have exported unless the Iranian product went into China, plus the volumes that are labeled reexports. So if you take away the Iranian impact, we think that Chinese exports are not materially different than last year, given the capacity utilization and the cost curve. So the only thing that is different this year is that they have the ability to buy Iranian product at well under the market prices and repackage them for exports to certain destinations as Chinese experts. So we basically see a situation where if one of two things happen, the outlook for urea will instantly improve. If the sanctions are lifted against Iran, actually, we'll see urea prices go up because that 25%, 30% discount for Iranian exports that covers the brain damage and the headaches of rerouting and issuing different bills of lading and changing sources and origins of the product is no longer needed. So for example, in Brazil, that is almost like a [barter] transaction of over 1 million tons will go to a specific importer, and those products are priced well under the market and have resulted in a significant destruction of the Brazilian pricing environment or they come to China and are reexported and create a distortion about incremental Chinese exports. So if that sanctions are lifted, we actually expect not a single extra ton of urea to come to the market, but the same volume will come at higher prices. Now if the sanctions are implemented and those volumes don't appear in the market, that's another story, and you will see a melt up in pricing on both fertilizer and methanol. So the Iran situation is really the key determining factor on short-term on Chinese and on pricing environment.

The other question on Sorfert, it's -- yes, it's economic interest. We haven't changed that as consistently as it was.

And the other question was on Natgasoline. So on Natgasoline, there was a waste heat boiler kind of, you can call it -- this is a $2 million, $3 million piece of equipment, but it's very sensitive at the heart of every chemical plant and that had a total failure, totally unexpected and was well covered by insurance, and we had to go through a strict repair process with original equipment manufacturer. And right now, the plant has been up and running from the beginning of November, and we think that this problem is fixed.

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Faisal Al Azmeh, Goldman Sachs Group Inc., Research Division - Research Analyst [35]

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And just maybe a follow-up question, given that you've highlighted effectively Iranian exports, just when looking at methanol, are the dynamics very different there? And how our exports ought to be run and painting the markets?

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Nassef Onssy Naguib Sawiris, OCI N.V. - CEO & Executive Director [36]

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No. In methanol, it's actually more blatant because 100% of Iranian methanol are -- gets into the Asian markets. And now there is -- which is 5 million tons. And now there is actually an informal published price called sanction products. So certain publications would have a price for methanol and a price for sanctioned methanol. So obviously, the sanctions are not being implemented or monitored.

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Faisal Al Azmeh, Goldman Sachs Group Inc., Research Division - Research Analyst [37]

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And so production out of Iran is -- or plants are running all sort of full capacity in your view at this stage, right? So there's nothing more to come out of...

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Nassef Onssy Naguib Sawiris, OCI N.V. - CEO & Executive Director [38]

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Full capacity.

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Faisal Al Azmeh, Goldman Sachs Group Inc., Research Division - Research Analyst [39]

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Okay.

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Nassef Onssy Naguib Sawiris, OCI N.V. - CEO & Executive Director [40]

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Yes. Full capacity at heavily discounted price. So today's published sanctioned price is about $50 lower than the normal price, which is already affected by the mere existence of the sanctioned price. On that note, Sinopec has topped the process of trading in sanction products, but they are the only ones who have done so in China.

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Operator [41]

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(Operator Instructions) And our next question comes from the line of James Maxwell from Janus Henderson.

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James Maxwell, [42]

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I just wonder if you could go back to what actually happened in the third quarter in terms of volumes, more specifically in September because I'm cautious when you're marketing the bond, which is in the middle of October. So end of the quarter, you made a statement around the performance in the first 2 months of that quarter, and you're saying the volumes were up 7% year-on-year, sort of the first 2 months, the end of August. So the inference being the performance in September was really surprisingly weak. Could you explain a little bit more because it seems to me that there wasn't -- suddenly, the commentary that you're making there didn't point to the magnitude of the drop in volumes or the impact on EBITDA. So I wonder if you could comment a little bit more about that.

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Nassef Onssy Naguib Sawiris, OCI N.V. - CEO & Executive Director [43]

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The shutdown happened earlier. So the sales volumes just track the shutdowns. So -- and you can't really pin it on a month because you have inventory issues and all that.

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James Maxwell, [44]

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Sorry, sir. But in the middle of October, so after the end of the quarter, you were marketing a bond deal, talking about volumes up 7% in the first 2 months of that quarter. But now you're saying what exactly that you couldn't tell what was sort of happened in September or you didn't know what was happening in September?

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Hassan H. Badrawi, OCI N.V. - Group CFO & Executive Director [45]

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No. Actually, on the -- during the bond marketing, this was factual information related to the performance of the 2 months. There was no guidance given for the quarter. But what we're saying is that there were -- the significant effect of the turnaround, which started in various parts of the quarter obviously has an effect on both sales and production [during the quarter], hence the $130 million quantified impact had we not had all these concentration of turnaround.

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Nassef Onssy Naguib Sawiris, OCI N.V. - CEO & Executive Director [46]

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So to give you an idea, for example, the Natgasoline shutdown occurred early August. But during August, the volumes kept going. So it's -- and if you compare on a year-over-year basis, all the Natgasoline volumes are incremental increases because the year before, they weren't there. And the same for BioMCN in Holland. All the volumes in Holland for 2019 did not exist for the second line in 2018.

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James Maxwell, [47]

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Right. It just seems -- I mean, from looking at what the market seemed to expect for your third quarter and what you were saying at the time of the bond issue that may be talking simply about volumes for the 2 months was not giving the full picture of what you think was the likely expectation in EBITDA. I mean, am I missing something or is that fair?

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Hassan H. Badrawi, OCI N.V. - Group CFO & Executive Director [48]

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No, we don't actually give guidance on EBITDA, we never have. But what we did give as indications of -- so as you said, the market update was the actual volumes achieved during the 2 months at the time of the bond issue. But we also alluded to a high concentration of turnarounds, and we mentioned facilities by name that some of our most high-margin facilities and largest volume producers were under significant planned turnarounds, that was also part of the statement. I don't know, may -- you may have missed that.

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James Maxwell, [49]

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No, no. I've seen that. I agree that's in there. But only number -- the only numbers (inaudible).

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Nassef Onssy Naguib Sawiris, OCI N.V. - CEO & Executive Director [50]

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If you have any additional questions, can you take them off-line, please, because I mean, we have quite a heavy line-up.

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Operator [51]

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We will now be taking our last question. And the last question comes from the line of Stef Abelli from BNP Asset Management.

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Stef Abelli, [52]

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Just a question on sort of like so whether you were surprised by the impact that the unplanned shutdown had? And I think previously, you were referring to this kind of like number impact on EBITDA of $130 million. And you put in the, I think, a planned out -- planned turnaround and planned shutdowns as well as the hedges. Can you also break it down in terms of how much was actually the impact of the planned outage. And sorry, like -- just like a quick one on that. And in terms of volumes, what was the -- sorry, what was the volumes increase or decrease during the quarter?

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Nassef Onssy Naguib Sawiris, OCI N.V. - CEO & Executive Director [53]

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So I'll give you the numbers that we have already mentioned so you can figure that. The natgas impact is pretty much not far -- not different than the insurance of $29 million, which is 2 months of production from beginning of August till end of September, plus/minus $5 million. The other -- the hedges were clearly stated at $29 million. Then you can assume that the balance will be close to the volume has lost for the planned shutdowns because these were the mostly the turnarounds with a very small portion coming out of our Beaumont unplanned turnout. But other than a small portion on the on Beaumont and the Natgasoline shutdown, everything else were planned turnarounds.

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Stef Abelli, [54]

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Okay. So you were not -- like you phrase or like -- have to (inaudible) you're not surprised at the level of revenues and EBITDA that you have achieved in Q3 2019?

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Nassef Onssy Naguib Sawiris, OCI N.V. - CEO & Executive Director [55]

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No, we're not surprised with the exception of Natgasoline and the hedges. But prices in Q3, there was no dramatic surprise on the fertilizer side. But on the methanol side, it was -- we saw the drop in July. I mean, right now, for example, fertilizer prices are surprisingly lower than the summer soft months, but methanol prices are higher than July.

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Operator [56]

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There are no further questions at this time. Please continue.

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Nassef Onssy Naguib Sawiris, OCI N.V. - CEO & Executive Director [57]

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Thank you very much, and looking forward to our next phone call. Thank you.

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Operator [58]

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That does conclude our conference for today. Thank you for participating. You may all disconnect.