China BlueChemical Ltd. (China BlueChem or the Company, HKG: 3983), the largest state-owned chemical fertilizer producer and the leading methanol producer in China, has announced its audited annual results for the year ended 31 December 2021.
Mr. HOU Xiaofeng, CEO and President of the Company said, “Looking back at 2021, as the COVID-19 pandemic continued to send shockwaves across the global industrial chain, the fertiliser industry recorded decade-high prices and the chemical industry as a whole experienced promising development momentum. By grasping favorable opportunities, the Company had an auspicious start to the 14th Five-Year Plan, with a better-than-expected performance in production and operation and development progress.”
In 2021, the Company’s revenue was RMB13,398 million, up 29% from 2020. Gross profit soared 120% to RMB2,936 million. Profit attributable to owners of the Company surged 101% to RMB1,498 million, consolidating the Company’s continued leadership position in terms of profitability. Based on the Company’s sound financial condition, the Board of Directors recommended the payment of a final dividend of RMB0.155 per share (tax included) (2020: RMB0.08 per share, tax included), rewarding its shareholders with a payout ratio of 48%.
China BlueChem is a benchmark company within the industry and has won many industry awards and recognitions during the year. Boasting continued growth of its brand value, the Company ranked 29th in the energy and chemical industry, with a brand value of RMB3.199 billion according to the 2021 China brand value evaluation.
In respect of production management, both the Fudao Phase II urea plant and the Hainan Phase I methanol plant broke the national record for long-term operation. In order to realize a robust operation in the future, nine plants commenced planned maintenance works in an orderly manner, and the CNOOC Tianye urea plant and methanol plant suspended production for the year in response to environmental and safety concerns. Against this backdrop, the Company’s production volume of urea, methanol and POM experienced a decline, while its phosphate and compound fertilizer output recorded growth. In 2021, the Company produced 2.029 million tonnes of urea, 0.975 million tonnes of phosphate and compound fertilizers, 1.398 million tonnes of methanol and 31 thousand tonnes of POM. During the year, the Company exported a total of 164 thousand tonnes of urea and 120 thousand tonnes of DAP.
In respect of sales management, the Company’s close scrutiny and analysis of the market, combined with its scientific and refined product pricing, enabled it to successfully position itself as a price leader for its key products among its industry peers in the same regions. Moreover, the Company constructed e-commerce and logistics platforms to trade all of its self-produced products online. In 2021, the changes in sales volume of the Company’s different self-produced products were basically in line with those of the output level. The Company sold 1.988 million tonnes of urea, 0.972 million tonnes of phosphate fertilizers and compound fertilizers, 1.367 million tonnes of methanol and 31 thousand tonnes of POM, and exported a total of 164 thousand tonnes of urea and 120 thousand tonnes of DAP.
In respect of technology innovation, the Company has established a clear roadmap for establishing its presence in the new chemical materials industry while maintaining a stable production capacity of fertilizers. Its key acrylonitrile project advanced steadily and the overall construction progressed as anticipated. The operating license for hazardous chemicals has been obtained in respect of the pre-sale of acrylonitrile products. With a focus on the efficient utilization of CO2-rich natural gas conversion, the Company took active steps to identify opportunities for cooperation on key technologies and subsequently entered into strategic cooperation with BASF and Wuhuan Engineering to promote technological innovation and development.
Looking forward to 2022, the fertilizer industry will pursue stable and progressive development and achieve green development and transformational upgrades under the dual goals of carbon peaking and carbon neutrality. The intensifying market competition and stricter environmental standards will further promote integration in the domestic fertilizer industry. Production costs have been inflated, and it may cause fertilizer prices to remain at high levels. In respect of methanol, with the slowdown in new methanol production capacity, the relatively stable demand in the methanol-to-olefins and traditional downstream methanol industries, and the increasing needs from wider applications of new energy-related fine chemicals, the Company foresees a fluctuation in market prices throughout the year.
China BlueChem will implement a series of key tasks in 2022. The Company will further enhance its Health, Society and Environmental management systems and refine production management, and proactively achieve its goals under the “dual carbon” initiative. Continued efforts will be made to strengthen its market leadership, optimize its precision pricing model, further deepen the marketing reform through digital means, promote direct supply from farmers, and stimulate the expansion of trade and coordination of resources and brands, as well as the realization of marketing value, across a wider area and at a deeper level.
At the same time, the Company will further strengthen its lean management to form an optimal inventory structure with economic efficiency. It will also ensure the success of the trial operation of its acrylonitrile project. It will push forward with the development of the petrochemical wharf project by seizing the opportunities arising from the construction of Hainan Free Trade Port. In addition, technological innovation will be vigorously promoted. To achieve this, the Company will enter into technological cooperation agreements that focus on the efficient utilization of CO2-rich natural gas conversion and the extension of the acrylonitrile downstream industry chain and explore opportunities for new projects. The Company will also systemically promote digital transformation and smart development, so as to further enhance its labor productivity and profitability.
Mr. HOU concluded, “In 2022, China BlueChem’s management team, together with all members of the Company’s staff will, under the guidance of the Board, endeavor to achieve the optimal business structure, further enhance operational efficiency, effectively respond to market changes, and vigorously explore new growth drivers, with the aim of generating desirable returns for our shareholders.”