FocusArgentina paints and coating business slowing down

19 December 2008 00:01  [Source: ICIS news]

By Cristina Kroll

BUENOS AIRES (ICIS news)--Argentina’s paints and coating businesses are showing signs of deceleration due to the global economic crisis, industry sources said on Thursday.

“In the fourth quarter of 2008, raw materials such as solvents and additives sales have fallen approximately 15% compared to the same period of 2007”, said Carlos Melo, manager of the chemical division of Copsa Argentina.

Guillermo Bruno, manager of the emulsions unit for the Argentinean branch of Clariant, said that “the resins market would  experience a downfall of between 20% and 25% in volume and sales for the last quarter of 2008 and the first one of 2009”.

Some executives believe that the paint market in Argentina has been in a downturn since before the global economic downspin became apparent.

Gustavo Illas, sales manager Sud America - except Brazil - for Crystal Millennium, said that “the sector is experiencing a fall in sales since March 2008. And for 2009 [it] is presumed that the recession will impact heavily in the paint sector”.

The automotive coatings segment has been one of the most affected, since car production in Argentina dropped by 26.4% in November from the previous month, and by over 28% in relation to the same month of 2007, according to a report from Argentina’s Automotive Manufacturers Association, ADEFA.  

On the other hand, in the construction sector, which accounts for 68% of the coating business in Argentina, according to the National Institute of Statistics and Census (INDEC) - the deceleration is not yet very pronounced.

The Sintetic Indicator of Construction Activity (ISAC), according to INDEC, showed that construction activity in October fell by 1.4% from September, and that the construction paint segment fell by 0.1%.

However, Copsa Argentina’s Melo said that “to sustain the national industry, the government has created an incentive plan for consumers, to increase electrical appliances’ sales. This will probably be successful and would benefit the coating sector”.

The Argentine government was preparing a similar plan for the automotive sector.

The paint market in Argentina during 2007 was 331m litres, according to the Statistics of Industrial Products (EPI) of INDEC.

The Sociedad Argentina de Tecnologos en Recubrimientos (SATER) estimated that Akzo Nobel leads the market with 22% of the market share, seconded by Sherwin Williams with 19%. They are followed by the locals Sinteplast, with 15%, Tersuave - with a market share of 12% - and Colorin, with 9%. Other players in the market include Venier -with 6%- Pre Pan (Plavicon) with 4% and other minor companies which hold the other 13%.

The local leaders in raw materials for paint production are Cristal Millennium and DuPont, which make titanium dioxide (TiO2).

Dow Chemical and Clariant make resins; Dow Chemical, Clariant and Eastman produce solvents.

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Paul Hodges studies key influencers shaping the chemical industry in Chemicals and the Economy


By: Cristina Kroll
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