Indian chemical companies are increasing their focus on Latin America. The region offers good potential, not only in terms of its markets but also as a feedstock source. Political instability has hampered progress in some of the countries but companies have successfully made inroads into Brazil and Argentina.
Demand is expanding for a number of products ranging from upstream petrochemicals to agrochemicals.
Latest figures from Abiquim, the Brazilian chemicals association, show that the country’s consumption of thermoplastic resins rose by 2.2% to 2.4m tonne during January-July 2007. Imports amounted to 373,000 tonne, up 16.2% from the same period last year.
Abiquim says Brazil’s chemical imports was $2.1bn in July, a monthly record that reflects growing economic activity. The trade deficit for petrochemicals in the first seven months of this year increased 64.2% to nearly $6.6bn.
Indian chemical companies have already made their presence felt in the region, the latest being United Phosphorus’ acquisition of Argentina’s ICONA and Pidilite’s acquisition of Brazil’s Pulvitec.
For those interested in this region, I suggest a trip to this blog by Viswanathan, joint secretary at the Ministry of External Affairs.