The recent decline in global oil prices will prove temporary even if it lasts a year or so, since population growth will ultimately bring higher consumption and prices, the chief executive of Saudi Basic Industries Corp said on Sunday.
Mohamed al-Mady was speaking to reporters after the company, one of the world’s largest petrochemicals groups and the Gulf’s largest listed company, reported a 4.5 per cent drop in third-quarter net income, missing analysts’ forecasts.
It blamed sluggish third-quarter sales, which edged down to SAR48.71 billion ($12.99 billion) from SAR48.80 billion a year earlier.
Oil prices had an impact on SABIC’s earnings through the prices of raw materials and final products, Mady said, adding that the impact was not predictable because oil prices were subject to economic and political factors.
He said China was a big, growing market for SABIC but there were changes in consumption there. The company still aims to grow its business in China and is looking for investments there, he said.
SABIC’s Safco 5 fertiliser project and its Kemya synthetic rubber project, a venture with Exxon Mobil Corp, are on track, Mady said. Both projects are in the process of being established.