Chemical industry: BASF withdraws further from Russia

Status: 04/27/2022 12:34 p.m

The chemical company BASF draws further conclusions from the war in Ukraine. The Ludwigshafen-based company has announced that it will almost completely stop its business in Russia and Belarus.

BASF, one of the largest chemical groups in the world, will almost completely give up its business in Russia and Belarus by the beginning of July 2022. Exceptions should be activities to support food production. As justification, BASF pointed out that the war could result in a global food crisis.

The group had not concluded any new deals in Russia since March. Due to the latest developments in the war and the sanctions imposed by the EU against Russia, the decision has now been made to discontinue the existing activities in Russia and Belarus by the beginning of July, BASF announced. 684 employees are currently employed in the two countries. These would continue to be supported until the end of the year, it said.

Economically, the decision should be manageable for the group. Because according to their own statements, the activities in Russia and Belarus only contributed around one percent to the group’s sales last year.

Most dependent on oil and gas

The dependence is significantly stronger with a view to the stake in the oil and gas group Wintershall Dea, in which BASF currently still holds around two-thirds of the shares. Despite the differences with the co-owner, the investment company Letter One owned by the Russian entrepreneur Mikhail Fridman, BASF last confirmed at the end of February that it wanted to list the stake on the stock exchange.

Wintershall Dea still achieves almost half of its production in Russia, but had already announced at the beginning of March that it would stop all new production and oil and gas projects in Russia and cut payments to the country.

Wintershall had already written off the financing for the Nord Stream 2 Baltic Sea pipeline. April 29 will show how big the impact on BASF’s earnings will be – then the group will present its balance sheet figures for the first quarter of 2022.

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