News Code : 43138

Petrotahlil:Few companies are as geared to global trade as BASF of Germany.

The world's second biggest chemicals company, founded in 1865, has 390 sites in more than 90 countries around the world and sells products that range from petrochemicals to pigments and dyes; from coatings and rust protection to battery materials; from foams to catalytic converters and from fungicides to food ingredients.

That global spread of products and activities means that, when global trade comes under pressure, so does BASF.

The €55bn (£49.5bn) giant today issued a profits warning that sent its share price down 6% at one stage.

It said that its earnings for this year before interest, taxation and one-off accounting items were likely to be down by "up to 30%" on 2018.

BASF was quite clear why this was the case. It said "significantly weaker-than-expected industrial production" had hit both sales volumes and profit margins.

Specifically, it highlighted weakness in global car-making, where it noted that production had fallen by around 6% in the first half of the year but by around 13% in China.

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