01 October 2012 22:14 [Source: ICIS news]
MEDELLIN, Colombia (ICIS)--Brazil’s production and domestic sales of chemical products in August increased year on year by 7.1% and 5.2% respectively, industry association Abiquim said on Monday.
Chemical production in August was 3.2% higher than in July this year. Domestic sales rose by 9.6% over the same month, Abiquim said.
Accumulated production and domestic sales from January to August were up year on year by 5.1% and 7.8% respectively, the group said.
Capacity utilisation in the industry rose from 82% in July this year to 86% in August. August’s figure was 1 percentage point higher than in August 2011.
After a weak second quarter, figures from the last two months showed a return to the production and sales levels recorded at the beginning of 2012, Abiquim said.
“If this trend continues through September, then the third quarter will be one of the strongest on record,” Abiquim said.
Abiquim pointed to recent measures taken by the government that could boost the competitiveness of the chemical industry.
“The reduction in energy tariffs, although not sufficient to compete with the US, is an important step in the right direction,” the group said.
Further government measures including a reduction in interest rates and the announcement of incentive measures for the fertilizer industry were also welcome, Abiquim said.
However, additional government measures to stimulate the industry were still needed, the group said.
Abiquim said it feared that unless the government addressed problems relating to infrastructure and high natural gas prices, the industry would be even more vulnerable to the current global economic crisis.
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