MEXICO CITY - Mexican compounder A. Schulman de Mexico SA de CV now is exporting products from its plant in San Luis Potos¡ to flexible packaging customers in South America. The firm has supplied one of its distributors in Brazil with a US$40,000, 40,000-pound trial shipment of white masterbatch, for use by producers of plastic film and bags in that country, Schulman de Mexico's financial manager, Gustavo Perez, said.
A similar-sized shipment of white masterbatch is being sent this month to one of the firm's first customers in Chile, which is also a film producer.
Schulman de Mexico, a subsidiary of A. Schulman Inc. of Akron, Ohio, opened the US$15 million compounding plant last September. The 25 million-pound-per-year facility is Schulman's first in Latin America.
Plans for a second, $10 million compounding line currently are before the company's board. A decision on whether to go ahead with the expansion project is likely within the next three months, said Perez.
Schulman designed the San Luis Potos¡ plant primarily to serve Mexico's automotive and packaging markets. The auto market in particular has remained strong due to exports. The facility also is intended to supply growing plastics end markets in Central and South America.
The plant eventually may serve markets in Europe and Asia.
The unit presently is operating at 60 percent capacity. The company is awaiting customer approval for specialized products before building production with regular orders, Perez said.
Schulman has developed a special color blend system for Mexico's auto industry that will also be sold to Brazil's automotive market, according to Perez.
The company expects additional packaging business from Guyana and other sugar-producing Caribbean countries, where it could sell raw materials to raffia sack manufacturers who supply that industry.
Schulman may build a second plant elsewhere in South America and anticipates the completion of a facility in Indonesia within six months.