Brazil's imports of plastic raw materials surge

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Brazil's imports of chemical raw materials for plastics increased 24.2% in the first 10 months of the year to US$2.31bn from US$1.86bn in the same period last year, plastics industry association Abiplast said.

Exports fell 10.9% to US$1.63bn from US$1.83bn. The trade deficit surged to US$683mn from US$33.5mn, Abiplast said, based on data from the ministry of trade.

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Brazil's chemical market has been flooded by cheaper imports, especially of chemical products that are manufactured using feedstock from shale gas in the US.

In 2012, Brazil imposed higher duties on a number of chemical imports, including polyethylene (PE), but at the beginning of October this year it withdrew these higher duties.

In October, low-density polyethylene (LDPE) imports surged by 98.6% from September to US$25.2mn, linear low-density polyethylene (LLDPE) imports rose 73.9% to US$59.2mn, and high-density polyethylene (HDPE) imports were up 65% to US$50.4mn.

In the first 10 months of the year, Brazil's imports of LDPE increased 27.6% to US$179mn, imports of LLDPE were up 21.1% to US$481mn, while imports of HDPE rose 25.6% to US$393mn.

Brazil's imports of polystyrene (PS) increased 45% to US$60.4mn and expanded polystyrene (EPS) imports were up 55% to US$79.0mn.

Polypropylene (PP) imports rose 22.4% to US$417mn, while imports of polyvinyl chloride (PVC) were up 20.3% to US$474mn. Imports of polyethylene terephthalate (PET) increased 33.6% to US$184mn.

Exports of PP fell 16.6% to US$440mn, slashing Brazil's trade surplus in PP to US$23.6mn from US$187mn in the first 10 months of 2012.

In October this year, Brazil recorded a trade deficit of US$0.2mn in PP compared to a surplus of US$15.4mn in September.