Ashland Inc. announced , it will conduct a live webcast of its third-quarter earnings presentation to the investment community. The presentation will cover results for the quarter ended June 30, 2007, the third quarter of Ashland's 2007 fiscal year. The company's results will be issued earlier in the day at 7 a.m.In attendance at the presentation will be: James J. O'Brien, chairman and chief executive officer; J. Marvin Quin, senior vice president and chief financial officer; L. Dean Doza, director, investor relations; and Michael A. Meade, assistant controller, external financial reporting.The webcast, which will last approximately 60 minutes, will be accessible through Ashland's Investor Relations website, www.ashland.com/investors. Following the live event, an archived version of the webcast will be available on the Ashland website for 12 months. Minimum requirements to listen to the webcast include the free Windows MediaPlayer software and a 28.8 Kbps connection to the Internet.Ashland Inc., a diversified, global chemical company, provides quality products, services and solutions to customers in more than 100 countries. A FORTUNE 500 company, it operates through four divisions: Ashland Performance Materials, Ashland Distribution, Valvoline and Ashland Water Technologies. Lead mine production was 1772 kt with Chinese output dominating the global supply. Refined production from both primary and secondary sources was down by 1 per cent from the equivalent figure recorded one year earlier.
<font face="Arial,sans-serif" size="2">Global demand was about 4 per cent higher than the previous year to reach a total 3417 kt with increases recorded in many parts of Asia. EU27 demand totalled 790 kt, an increase of 2 per cent compared with January to May 2006. China consumed 1001 kt of lead in the first five months of 2007 reaching a new high of 226 kt in May.</font>
<font face="Arial,sans-serif" size="2">In May, refined lead production was 708.3 kt and consumption was 711.2 kt. Zinc market in surplus in January to May 2007</font>
The zinc market was in surplus by 66 kt during January to May 2007 with reported stocks some 34 kt lower. The proportion of total stocks held in LME warehouse has declined from 47 per cent at the end of 2005 to less than 16 per cent at the end of May 2007. Mine production was, at 4245 kt, 5 per cent higher than the January to May 2006 total. Refined production rose by 313 kt to 4653 kt with Asian countries (especially China) contributing an additional 279 kt to the world output. EU27 production rose by 4.7 per cent but NAFTA output was 2.8 per cent lower. World demand was 132 kt higher than in the first five months of 2006 with the most significant increases recorded in China and America. Chinese demand was 1381 kt which is 30 per cent of the global total. No allowance is made in the consumption calculation for unreported stock changes In May, slab zinc production was 965.4 kt and consumption was 983.6 kt.
<font face="Arial,sans-serif" size="2">Nickel market records deficit in January to May 2007.</font>
<font face="Arial,sans-serif" size="2">The Nickel market recorded a deficit of 8.7 kt during January to May 2007 with reported stocks 5.7 kt lower. The supply and demand data include low grade ferro nickel produced in China from imported ores which had previously been excluded from the WBMS data. Mine production in January to May 2007 was, at 632.5 kt, 8 per cent above the 2006 total. Refined production was 10.4 per cent above the comparable total for 2006 with output increases in China, South Africa and Canada accounting for most of the higher output.</font>
<font face="Arial,sans-serif" size="2">World demand was 51 kt higher than the previous year. No allowance is made in the consumption calculation for unreported stock changes In May, nickel smelter production was 127.4 kt and consumption was 117.3 kt.</font>
<font face="Arial,sans-serif" size="2">Tin market in deficit for January to May 2007</font>
<font face="Arial,sans-serif" size="2">The tin market recorded a calculated market deficit of 6.7 kt during January to May 2007 after allowing for reported DLA deliveries. No allowance is made in the consumption calculation for unreported stock changes. Reported production of refined metal was down by 2.9 kt, compared with the first five months of 2006 and DLA deliveries were 6.7 kt bringing the total availability to 145.5 kt. Production fell in Indonesia, particularly after the government clampdown on illegal mining at the end of last year reduced the amount of tin available. Global demand totalled 152.2 kt which represented a decrease of 2.8 kt compared with January to May 2006 with reduced consumption in Japan and lack of significant growth in China responsible for most of the market weakness. At the end of May, LME stocks stood at 9.4 kt which compares with the end December 2006 figure of 13.0 kt. Tin mine production was 134.8 kt which was 2.4 kt above the total for the previous January to May. All of the increase was recorded in China.</font>
<font face="Arial,sans-serif" size="2">In May, refined tin production was 29.2 kt and consumption was 30.9 kt.</font>