Mexico City — Plastics resins distributor Bamberger Polymers International Corp. grew 10 percent in volume terms in Mexico in 2020, and is optimistic about 2021, its top executive in the country said March 23.
But Alfonso García Díaz, managing director of Bamberger Polymers de México SA de CV and a vice president of Jericho, N.Y.-based Bamberger worldwide, added in a telephone interview that he was concerned about the approaching hurricane season in the Gulf of Mexico and its potential impact on supplies.
"Last year we grew 10 percent in volume," he told Plastics News. "We are growing 6-7 percent in the first quarter in volume."
Responding to a question about the state of the Mexican market, García said: "It's challenging. There's very little product available because of the bad weather and worldwide demand."
He said raw materials such as PET and polyethylene had doubled in price, "from $1 per kilo to over $2 per kilo now in some cases."
The price of polypropylene had almost tripled. "Last year we were getting $1 per kilo. Now it's $3 per kilo."
Asked whether government economic decisions had affected the Mexican plastics industry, García replied: "Not really." He added, however, that the forced closure of the Braskem Idesa PE complex in Veracruz in December 2020 after the government cut off the plant's natural gas supplies had led to PE supplies being "very short."
On the eve of the virtual Plastimagen Light trade show and conference, being held from March 22-26, Aldimir Torres, president of Mexico's national plastics industry association, Anipac, said the industry shrank by 9 percent in 2020.
García said in his opinion most of the shrinkage was a result of bans on commercial plastic bags and one-use food utensils.
He said that holding a virtual trade show was "a learning experience for everyone" but something he welcomed. "I'm happy that they gave us this option."