Preliminary data from the Argentine Chamber for the Plastics Industry (CAIP) shows plastics resin consumption in Argentina went from 2.78 billion pounds to 2.94 billion pounds last year.
As a general trend, CAIP figures show 2005 consumption levels were similar or better than the performance posted in 1997-98, when Argentina's plastics industry reached its peak prior to the 2001 financial crisis.
Key players, including resin manufacturers in Argentina and Brazil, also project an upward trend also for 2006:
High density polyethylene - According to Ipiranga Petroquímica SA of Porto Alegre, Brazil, which sells into the Argentine market from its plant in Brazil, resin consumption in Argentina will grow as much as 6 percent in 2006.
Low/linear low density PE - Ipiranga's figures are a bit different than CAIP's. Its executives believe that consumption of both products in Argentina reached 700 million pounds in 2005 and will increase 10 percent in 2006.
PVC - At Braskem SA of São Paulo, Brazil, PVC consumption in Argentina is expected to grow 7 percent in 2006. ``We are confident that the Argentine industry is going to continue improving and we've been seeing considerable action in sectors such as civil construction,'' said Rui Chammas, commercial director for Braskem's PVC business unit.
Polypropylene - Elisa M. Fernandez, marketing director at Buenos Aires-based Petroquímica Cuyo SAIC, estimates a 6 percent increase in consumption for 2006.
Polystyrene - Consumption will grow around 3 percent this year, said sales manager Gustavo Fernandez of BASF Argentina SA.
PET - Data used by Buenos Aires-based Voridian Argentina srl differs considerably from CAIP figures for 2005. Account manager Marcos Pinhel da Silva, part of Voridian's Brazilian subsidiary, said PET consumption totaled 375 million pounds in 2005, and should rise 7-8 percent in 2006.