Latin America stories: weekly summary

ICIS Editorial


SAO PAULO (ICIS)–Here are some of the stories from ICIS Latin America for the week ended on 22 March.

AFPM ’24: LatAm petchems brace for slow path to recovery with all eyes on China
The petrochemicals downturn in Latin America is likely to be the longest ever as Chinese and global overcapacities dampen prices in the world’s quintessential “price taker” region for chemicals.

Brazil’s Braskem losses widen in 2023 on poor polymers markets
Losses at Braskem widened further in 2023 to more than $900 million on the back of poor market dynamics in polymers, the Brazilian petrochemicals major said late on Monday.

Brazil’s Braskem pushes polymers recovery to 2026 despite some green shoots
Braskem’s said on Tuesday a recovery in polymers prices in earnest will now only take place from 2026, with the Brazilian petrochemicals major posting again a poor set financial result.

Argentina’s manufacturing down 6% in Q4, sector hardest hit amid GDP contraction
Argentina’s petrochemicals-intensive manufacturing output fell by 6% in the fourth quarter, year on year, making the sector hardest hit by the recession, the country’s statistical office Indec said on Wednesday.

Mexico’s central bank joins monetary policy easing, cuts rates to 11%
Mexico’s central bank cut this week the main interest rate benchmark by 25 basis points to 11%, finally joining other Latin American central banks in easing borrowing costs as inflation has fallen consistently.

Brazil’s central bank cuts interest rates to 10.75%
Brazil’s central bank cut again this week the main interest rate benchmark, the Selic, by 50 basis points to 10.75%.

Brazil’s farmers import 40% more urea in February before end of season
In Brazil, urea imports in February were at 490,328 tonnes, up 40% from 349,452 tonnes in February 2023 as farmers stepped up purchases ahead of the close of the season, according to customs data.

AFPM ’24: LatAm PE margins remain squeezed on imports
Polyethylene (PE) imports are expected to remain high throughout Latin America during the second quarter, with deliveries from the US to continue dominating.

AFPM ’24: Latin America PP demand still in doldrums, supply ample on high imports
Latin America polypropylene (PP) supply is to remain sufficient in coming months due to lackluster demand, with a high level of imports still the predominant feature.

AFPM ’24: LatAm PS supply to remain ample; demand to drop due to seasonality
Latin America’s polystyrene (PS) supply is to remain ample as demand continues to be weak.

Ethanol prices rise amidst stable supply and demand in Brazil
Prices for hydrous ethanol were assessed higher this week, with stable supply and demand across the country.


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