LUDWIGSHAFEN, Germany – BASF is taking measures to avoid the creation of overcapacities as a result of a massive decline in demand. The company is temporarily shutting down around 80 plants worldwide. In addition, BASF is reducing production at approximately 100 plants. This reduction was already announced for polystyrene and caprolactam. Scheduled maintenance work is being brought forward.
“We already drew attention to the difficult economic situation at the end of October. Since then, customer demand in key markets has declined significantly,” said Jürgen Hambrecht, Chairman of the Board of Executive Directors of BASF SE. “In particular, customers in the automotive industry have canceled orders at short notice.”
In addition, sales volumes are being negatively impacted by increased reduction of inventory by customers and a lack of credit in customer industries.
Worldwide, approximately 20,000 employees will be affected by the production cuts. Flexible working time arrangements will be used wherever possible.
The adjustments are primarily being carried out in units that supply the automotive, construction and textile industries. Value chains affected include ammonia, styrene and polyamide, which manufacture precursors for engineering plastics, coatings and fibers. The shutdowns will be coordinated throughout BASF’s global production Verbund and will involve all six Verbund sites in Europe, Asia and North America, as well as other sites. Implementation of most of the measures has already started; reduced capacities are expected to last until January 2009 for individual plants.
BASF will continue to follow market developments very closely and will adjust production planning accordingly.