Brazil production, sales of chemicals fall in September

01 November 2012 22:51  [Source: ICIS news]

MEDELLIN, Colombia (ICIS)--Brazil’s production and domestic sales of chemical products in September fell year on year by 6.9% and 0.7%, respectively, an industry association said on Monday.

Chemical production in September was 10.1% lower than in August this year. Domestic sales fell by 3.8% over the same month, Abiquim said.

Capacity utilisation in the industry fell to 79% in September from 86% in August this year. September’s figure was 7 percentage points lower than in September 2011.

Prices in September were 3.1% higher than in August, and up by 14.4% year on year.

Despite a weak September, Abiquim said third-quarter production and sales of chemicals were up by 2.0% and 3.3%, respectively, compared with the same period last year.

“September’s results are surprising after such a positive performance in July and August,” said Abiquim.

The monthly slump was due to weak domestic demand and the relatively low number of working days in September, according to Abiquim.

An energy blackout in Brazil’s southeastern region also hit a number of companies in the sector, the association said.

Abiquim said additional government measures to stimulate the industry, including reductions in electricity tariffs and lower natural gas prices, were urgently needed.

The association pointed to the expected 11m tonnes of additional ethylene capacity that the US will produce in three-to-four years' time.

“This will exert more pressure on Brazil’s ever increasing chemical trade deficit,” said Abiquim.

By: Simon West

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