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Slowdown in the Brazilian industry adversely affects the composites sector

News International-French

8 Aug 2014

The Brazilian market of composite materials is being greatly affected by the overall reduction in the industrial activity in Brazil over the past few months.

In the second quarter, sales of companies that are part of the supply chain of this type of high performance plastic fell 13% in comparison with the results reported in the previous three months, totaling US$ 332 million. In terms of volume of processed material, there was an 8.8% drop, amounting to 49,000 tons. When compared to the same period last year, the decline was less significant: 8.4% and 6.5%, respectively.

The figures are from Maxiquim, a consulting firm hired by the Latin American Composite Materials Association (Almaco).

“The main consumer markets of composites, such as transport, civil construction and wind energy, reported a significant decrease. This reduced the confidence in making investments and, as a result, it pulled down the demand,” said Gilmar Lima, president of Almaco.

Between July and September, however, Maxiquim’s survey estimates an increase in the indices of 8.5% in sales and 7.7% in raw material consumption. “This is a normal consequence from the resumption of the industrial level and the need that different market segments have of minimizing the effects of such negative performance. In addition, the government should increase investment levels by December, which will benefit the industry as a whole.”

In any case, he reckons, the poor performance in the second quarter tends to affect the annual result of the composites sector. “We have a very low growth compared with the historical average of our market.” According to Maxiquim, the companies represented by Almaco should earn US$ 1.485 billion in 2014, up 1.5% – last year, for example, the percentage of growth compared to 2012 was 8.9%.

“We have to react and reinforce investments in dissemination, technology, management, and especially innovation, without being limited to the final product. In short, we need differentiated and niche-oriented business models with great opportunities,” said the president of Almaco.