20 July 2010 16:57 [Source: ICIS news]
By George Martin
Products from Asia and the US Gulf currently could compete favourably in
But potential importers who asked to remain anonymous for this story cited poor logistics as their main reason to stay away from imports.
Payment terms are normally cash in advance, a plastics processor in
“Our customers pay in 60 days, so there is a minimum 90-day wait to get our money back. That is an onerous financial cost for bad service,” the source said.
Sometimes a foreign supplier is asked for a quote and the answer arrives one week later, the converter added. “We would like to receive it on the same day.”
Additionally, when an order is placed, the shipment frequently loads later than promised.
When a shipment arrives, sometimes the paperwork is not complete or simply missing. This causes the containers to be retained at the port, and the customer has to pay extra charges for delayed pick up.
Compare this situation with the service provided by a local supplier, a converter said. It is possible to order a truck of a certain grade for one date, another grade for a different date and the product is always delivered on schedule.
But customers who import can count on some sort of retaliation by local providers. For instance, the local producer may not have the volumes to fill an order on schedule, forcing the buyer to pick material from the leftovers of a number of local distributors at a much higher price and perhaps with compromises in quality, the source said.
These situations are easy to find in
High import duties allow producers in those countries to price their products slightly above import parity, knowing that paperwork hassles and financial costs could still dissuade people from importing.
Some companies still go through all the problems of importing only to keep the domestic producers honest. But those are only a few.
“Once we used a surrogate buyer to bring imported material in in an anonymous way,” another converter said.
“But the local supplier somehow found out the material was ours, and confronted us about our reasons to import; it was an uncomfortable situation.”
Plastics processors in
Some believe that the government should lower import tariffs the way that
On the other hand, Brazilian producers are proud of the high level of service they provide and also about having a large research and development department to generate new products. They also have personnel dedicated to make sure their customers grow.
For this reason, producers think that slightly higher-than-import-parity prices for PE and PP polymers are justified.
They admit that high import duties on resin prices protect them from imports, but stress that manufactured plastic products enjoy similar protection.
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