APLA '11: Brazil chem sector to post record trade gap in 2011

07 November 2011 22:49  [Source: ICIS news]

BUENOS AIRES (ICIS)--Brazil’s chemical sector will post a $25bn (€18.3bn) trade deficit in 2011, industry association Abiquim said on Monday, projecting the country would break the record trade gap of $23.2bn set in 2008.

The projection for 2011 represents a 21% increase from the $20.6bn deficit registered in 2010.

Brazil needs to invest in production, otherwise foreign producers will reap the benefits of demand growth in the coming years, Abiquim president Fernando Figueiredo told delegates at the 31st Latin American Petrochemical Association (APLA) annual meeting in Buenos Aires.

The country will need to invest $167bn in production from now until 2020, he projected.

The estimate includes the $87bn that would be needed just to keep up with growth, and the $35bn required to tap Brazil's green chemical potential and newly discovered oil reserves.

Another $45bn would be needed to eliminated the trade deficit, Figueiredo said, adding that investing in chemicals makes sense for Brazil because the country, like the US, has vast feedstock resources and a large consumer market, while most other countries have just one or the other.

Chemical consumption in Brazil will double between 2008 and 2020, he predicted.

In addition, Brazil has shale gas resources and large crude oil reserves, he said.

The country is also well positioned to develop green chemicals, Figueiredo added, referring to the use of sugarcane ethanol in Brazil as a chemical feedstock.

The 2011 APLA conference ends on Tuesday.

($1 = €0.73)

By: William Lemos
+1 713 525 2653

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