BASF’s global business declined significantly in December 2008. In all regions, demand for chemical products has not picked up in the first half of January and customers are continuing to destock and with no turnaround in sight, BASF has been reducing capacity utlization and flexible working time arrangements.
However, these flexible work arrangements are no longer sufficient to absorb the effects of production cuts at all BASF site, particularly those serving the automotives industry. In response, short-time working will be introduced in February for approximately 1500 employees at BASF Coatings’ site in Münster, Germany and for 180 employees in Schwarzheide, Germany. Working hours have already been reduced for about 150 employees at two smaller coatings sites in Italy and BASF cannot rule out the introduction of short-time working at further sites.