MEXICO CITY - Mexican plastics processors have signed a price-control pact with their government, allowing them to raise prices to reflect only increased resin costs. Leaders of Anipac, Mexico's national plastics processors association, representing more than 300 medium-sized and larger companies, reached an agreement with Mexico's trade and industry ministry, Secofi, to permit price increases ranging from 30-40 percent in 1995.
The agreement allows different end-product increases depending on the source and pricing of raw materials.
It refers to four separate categories: nationally available material priced in new pesos; national material priced in U.S. dollars; imported material charged in U.S. dollars; and a combination of resins, as with specialty engineering plastics.
However, the processors remain generally dissatisfied because they are unable to pass on other price increases they are facing following Mexico's peso devaluation crisis, said Anipac President Rafael Vidales Mendez.
``The truth is that the industry is in a very bad situation because we are only considering here the cost of raw materials,'' he said.
He pointed to other higher operating costs not covered in the pact, including additional materials such as inks, solvents, packaging material, machinery parts, utility and freight charges and labor.
Vidales added that, while each rise in operating costs might not appear to be serious alone, together they represent a major crisis for Mexico's plastics processors. This comes on top of heightened competition due toenactment of the North American Free Trade Agreement, sky-high domestic interest rates and already-high prices for imported resins.
Many Mexican processors currently are embroiled in talks with unions over the renewal of annually reviewed worker pay and conditions.
These negotiations have proved more difficult than ever in the face of the anticipated 1995 inflation rate of as much as 20 percent.
In industry segments in Mexico with no collective bargaining, companies negotiate their labor pacts individually.