BASF, the world's largest chemicals firm by sales, today lowered its full-year earnings guidance on weak sales in China, Brazil and other emerging markets.

BASF, whose products include car coatings, foam chemicals, catalytic converters and mining chemicals, said it now expected a slight decrease in sales and adjusted earnings before interest and taxes. 

It had previously forecast flat operating profit and slightly rising sales. 

"We experienced a pronounced summer lull and no volume momentum in September. Major markets like Brazil are in a recession or face lower growth rates, such as China," the company's chief executive Kurt Bock said. 

The group's adjusted EBIT in the quarter to September slipped 10% to €1.6 billion, below the average estimate of €1.63 billion in a Reuters poll. 

Profits were hurt by lower volumes in the pigments business, weak demand for oilfield chemicals and tough competition in vitamins, among other factors. 

BASF's crop protection unit took a worse-than-expected hit from a weak Brazil business after the country's currency, the real, hit an all-time low in September.