Latin America stories: weekly summary

ICIS Editorial

26-Feb-2024

SAO PAULO (ICIS)–Here are some of the stories from ICIS Latin America for the week ended on 23 February.

NEWS
Argentina manufacturing output falls 12% in December

Argentina’s recession is hitting the petrochemicals-intensive manufacturing sectors hard, with output down 11.9% in December, year on year, the country’s statistics body Indec said late on Thursday.

Mexico’s secondary activities output up 1.2% year on year in December
Output in Mexico’s petrochemicals-intensive secondary activities rose in December by 1.2%, year on year, the country’s statistics office Inegi said this week.

Pause in PVC projects ‘prudent’ until prices rise to $1,200/tonne – Orbia CEO
Depressed global polyvinyl chloride (PVC) prices prompted Orbia to take the “prudent” decision to put new projects on hold, the CEO of the Mexican chemical producer said on Thursday.

Petrochemicals margins could worsen in 2024 – Mexico’s Alpek
Mexican chemicals producer Alpek’s stock was falling more than 3% on Wednesday afternoon after the company issued a downbeat guidance for 2024 in which petrochemicals margins could worsen from the already weak 2023 averages.

Brazil’s Braskem Q4 main chemicals, resins sales fall on lower demand
Braskem’s main chemicals and resins sales in its domestic market fell by 15% and 9%, respectively, in the fourth quarter, year on year, on the back of persistent poor demand, the Brazilian petrochemicals major said this week.

Brazil’s Unigel gets green light from creditors for debt restructuring
Unigel has agreed a Brazilian reais (R) 3.9 billion ($791 million) debt restructuring with its creditors, which has saved the beleaguered styrenics, acrylics and fertilizer producer from filing for bankruptcy for the time being.

US Stepan recovering LatAm surfactants market share, margins – CEO
Stepan is recovering its share in the Latin American surfactants market following supply chain disruptions in the second half of 2022, Scott Behrens, CEO of the US-based company, said on Tuesday.

PRICING
Lat Am PP domestic prices fall in Colombia on cheaper imports
Domestic polypropylene (PP) prices were down in Colombia due to more competitive prices for imported products. In other Latin American countries, prices were steady.

Lat Am PE buyers on the sidelines waiting for March prices
Domestic, international polyethylene (PE) prices were assessed unchanged this week across Latin American countries.

Mexico PET industry expecting stable sales during the upcoming peak bottle season
Polyethylene terephthalate (PET) prices in Mexico held steady this week, with weak demand and ample supply in February.

Brazil ethanol sales continue to face positive results in 2024
According to Unica, Brazil’s ethanol sales grew by 38.22% in January over the same time frame in 2023. With this achievement, sales volume has surpassed its highest point since October 2020.

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