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Analysts warn of economic slowdown in Mexico

By: Stephen Downer

May 31, 2013

MEXICO CITY — The Mexican plastics industry, which grew 5.3 percent last year, may slow in 2013, analysts believe, after the government acknowledged the national economy, which is largely dependent on exports, is weakening.

In a May 17 news release, the finance ministry admitted it was pessimistic about gross national product growth this year, predicting it will reach only 3.1 percent and not the 3.5 percent the ministry believed was achievable at the beginning of the year.

Commenting on the announcement, Eduardo de la Tijera Coeto, president of Mexico City plastics sector consulting business Grupo Texne, urged the industry to find substitutions for imported resins, which, he said, represent about 40 percent of the national consumption of plastics.

“Imports grew at an average annual rate of 9.7 percent between 2008 and 2012,” he said, “The market captured by imports has reached 2.3 million [metric] tonnes, worth almost $8 billion.”

“The first thing we need to do is to find out who’s importing plastics and what they’re importing,” he wrote in his weekly newsletter Carta al Industrial.

However, De la Tijera sees opportunities for the industry in the government’s national development plan 2013-2018, published in May.

“These proposals open the doors even more for us on several fronts, including one to promote the use of plastics in agriculture and the federal institutionalization of what has helped us to deflect irrational regulations against plastics over the past four years: namely production and sustainable consumption criteria for plastics.”

Mexico’s President Enrique Peña Nieto described the 183-page document as “a plan to move Mexico forward. It’s a guide for making the best ideas and proposals a reality for the benefit of society as a whole.”