Import restrictions fuel growth in Argentine polymers – consultant

28 June 2012 20:59  [Source: ICIS news]

MEDELLIN, Colombia (ICIS)--Import restrictions imposed by the Argentine government are driving local polymer demand and fuelling market growth, consulting firm Frost & Sullivan said on Thursday.

According to the company’s expectations, polymer sales volumes will witness a 3.9% compound annual growth rate 2012-2018, reaching 30,400 tonnes by 2018.

“Import restrictions, unofficially set to stay in place until Argentina can pay its national debt, are increasing local demand,” said Frost & Sullivan analyst Hernan Cavarra. “This should fuel local polymer production as well.”

Frost & Sullivan cited the replacement of traditional materials and the search for performance improvement and eco-friendly solutions as additional factors that are boosting demand in the Argentine polymer market.

However, the company emphasised that long-term market growth is dependent on Argentina’s ability to resolve domestic energy deficits.

“As long as gas supply restrictions are not solved, installed capacity will not be expanded, no new investments will be possible and trends in petrochemical market growth may decelerate,” Cavarra said.

The Argentine polymers market recovered from the 2008-09 economic crisis and stabilised in 2011, with sales worth $77.4m (€61.9m) and a volume of 23,700 tonnes, Frost & Sullivan said.

Polycarbonate (PC) and polyamide (PA) are the largest segments, having 33.7% and 30.4% of market volume respectively, mainly due to growth in the automotive sector in Argentina, the company said.

Dupont is the Argentine market leader with a 32.6% share of the market, followed by SABIC with 19.2% and Bayer with 15.6%.

($1 = €0.80)

By: Simon West

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