Mexico City — Bottled water growth is lessening the blow of lower carbonated soft drink demand in Mexico for PET resin maker DAK Americas.
"The growth is in bottled water, where we're up 4 or 4.5 percent," Fernando Rosas, the company's commercial director said at Plastimagen. "In general, PET is linked to the economy, so we're seeing overall growth of around 2 percent. But CSD [carbonated soft drink] really isn't growing."
He added that although the soft drink category might be consuming slightly more resin, the amount of liters being consumed is down. Bottled water growth is coming from several sizes, including single-serve.
In product development, DAK, an Alpek Polyester business, is working with customers on new PET grades to improve performance, Rosas said. The firm is seeking to improve thermal stability and high-heat performance, which would allow PET to make inroads vs. glass and metal cans in categories such as sports drinks, beer and different types of food.
On a financial level, Monterrey, Mexico-based Alpek — Alpek Polyester's parent firm — is being impacted by the bankruptcy filings of Mossi Ghisolfi Group in Italy and the United States.
DAK, which has its U.S. office in Charlotte, N.C., competes with M&G in the North American PET market, but Alpek also supplied M&G with raw materials.
Rosas declined to discuss the M&G situation in detail but said that DAK's purpose "is to serve the North American market and supply the demand needs of our customers."
He added that DAK mainly has recovered from raw material constraints, mainly of monoethylene glycol, that were caused by Hurricane Harvey in late August.
"The first couple of weeks were difficult, but things have improved since then," Rosas said.
Regarding possible changes to NAFTA, Rosas said that although it was "too early to say" what total impact would be, he pointed out that most PET preforms are made for local markets. As a result, Rosas added, that sector might not be affected much by any changes.
Alpek also owns polypropylene maker Indelpro, which also exhibited at Plastimagen