MEXICO CITY—Just-released government data backs up what crowds and optimistic exhibitors at Mexico's main plastics show, Plastimagen, already seem to know: Mexico's plastics industry is doing better than expected.
``On Tuesday, we were told that the latest data show that the growth in the plastics industry was 11 percent in 1998,'' said Juan Manuel Alvarez, president of the plastic industry association Asociacion Nacional de Industrias del Plastico (Anipac).
The association had pegged 1998 growth at 9 percent.
Resin consumption was up 11 percent, to 5.75 billion pounds, said Eduardo de la Tijera, president of consulting firm Grupo Texne.
Machinery imports continued to jump after a decline in 1995 and 1996. Imports stood at $643 million in 1998, up from $491 million in 1997. The 1994 level was $354 million.
Consumption of plastics as manufactured goods reached 6.6 billion pounds in 1998, up from 5.97 billion pounds in 1997. Per capita consumption rose from from 63.8 pounds to 70.4 pounds in 1998, he added.
Plastimagen, which ran Feb. 9-12 in Mexico City, got off to a good start with an estimated 14,000 in attendance by Thursday afternoon.
``On Tuesday and Wednesday, we had 7,000 enter, and in a few hours on Thursday afternoon, we had another 7,000 come in,'' said Sandra Arellano, publicity and promotions manager for Oprex (Organizacion de Promociones y Exposiciones SA de CV), the Mexico City firm organizing the show.
Exhibitors also were content with the kind of visitors attending the show.
``We have had very well-focused inquiries,'' said Sally Damastra, director of international trade and shows for the Canadian Plastics Industry Association.