Despite the peso's fall, a U.S. Department of Commerce analyst remains bullish on U.S. plastics machine sales to Mexico. Francisco Ceron, analyst for the department's International Trade Administration, issued his report on the Mexican plastics equipment market in December, before the currency crisis. The peso lost 40 percent of its value, effectively increasing the price of U.S.-made machines by 40 percent.
Contacted at his Mexico City office at the American Embassy Jan. 25, Ceron said he is sticking to his annual growth predictions - injection molding machines at 7 percent, extruders at 10 percent and 12 percent each for two other categories, blow molding machines, and molds and dies.
``This is a short-term situation. It's not a long-term situation,'' Ceron insisted. ``Definitely Mexico needs to import capital goods regardless of the devaluation.''
U.S. companies dominate the market for plastics machinery imported into Mexico, with a 43 percent share, according to Mexican trade data cited in Ceron's report. In 1993, U.S. companies shipped $24.3 million worth of injection molding machines and accessories, $28.8 million worth of extruders, $11.8 million worth of blow molding machines and $54.3 million worth of molds and dies.
The report gives market share of other countries importing plastics processing equipment to Mexico: Germany, 19 percent; Italy, 16 percent; Taiwan, 12 percent; and Brazil, 5 percent. Ceron said an ``other'' category, with 5 percent of the market, mainly includes Japanese manufacturers. Ceron said Japanese machine suppliers presently are minor players in Mexico.
Mexico imported a total of $275.6 million worth of plastics machinery in 1993, according to the study.
Ceron's 28-page report, titled ``The Plastics Industry Production Equipment Market in Mexico,'' covers machine and resin statistics, a ``how-to'' on selling in Mexico, an overview of major plastics processors and end markets and a list of trade associations, industry publications and Mexican machine makers.
The report is available free through International Trade Administration offices throughout the United States.