APLA '17: US PE to fill dominant role in Latin America’s import market - consultant

13 November 2017 17:00 Source:ICIS News

RIO DE JANEIRO (ICIS)--US exports of polyethylene (PE) will take a more dominant position in Latin America’s import markets in the coming years, a consultant said on Sunday.

“US producers will aggressively move to expand market share in Latin America as new PE capacities come online," said Bob Bauman of Polymer Consulting International.

"Given the low production costs enjoyed by US producers, we expect to see the US take over 90% of the Latin American import PE market in the coming years,” he said on the sidelines of the Latin American Petrochemical Association (APLA) annual meeting.

Bauman continued: “Middle Eastern producers will be able to retain a position in the market as they will fight to retain and potentially increase their existing market share, while producers from higher cost regions such as Asia will most likely be squeezed out of the market.”

The US will add nearly 3.6m tonnes/year of additional PE capacity in the final quarter of 2017 and as much as 90% of this material will need to be exported.

“US producers have already laid the groundwork to expand their market share in the region, and we expect to see additional volumes arriving to the region soon,” Bauman said.

The APLA annual meeting runs through Tuesday.

Interview article by Zachary Moore

By Zachary Moore