Brazil's composites sector expects 2015 growth following "stable" 2014

Revenues totaled US$1.202 billion last year, down a mere 0.1% compared to 2013, but a 2.4% increase in revenue is predicted for 2015.

A financial health report on the Brazilian composites sector, released by the Latin American Composite Materials Assn. (ALMACO, São Paulo, Brazil), indicates that 2015 could bring some relief to what was a stable but not stellar 2014.

Brazilian composites sector revenues totaled US$1.202 billion last year, down 0.1% compared to performance in 2013. In terms of volume, the decline was larger: composite molders and fabricators consumed 2% less raw material, totaling 206,000 metric tonnes. These figures are part of the latest survey conducted by MaxiQuim (Porto Alegre, Brazil), a consulting firm hired by ALMACO.

“On the one hand, we experienced interruptions and delays in investments in infrastructure from the federal government, which were added to the drastic fall in the transportation segment and the lack of creativity and innovative power of the composites sector,” says Gilmar Lima, ALMACO’s president. “As for the revenue, some factors sustained this close tie with 2013, such as the generalized increase in costs and the uncontrolled price increase charged by one of the fiberglass manufacturers.”

With a 51% share, the construction industry, in 2014, remained as the top consumer of polyester composites, ahead of transportation (15%), corrosion (12%) and sanitation (5%), among others, totaling 151,200 metric tonnes. Wind power generation accounted for 90% of the demand for epoxy-based composites. The oil market ranked second, with 5%. In total, 54,800 metric tonnes were processed.

For 2015, however, MaxiQuim estimates a 2.4% revenue increase in the sector represented by ALMACO, totaling US$1.231 billion and consumption of 207,000 metric tonnes of raw materials (+0.5%). “Even with the expectation of a bad year, some projects that benefit composites can no longer be postponed, such as those to be held to mitigate the water and energy supply problems,” says Lima. In the first quarter, therefore, the study estimates a revenue of US$327 million, 4.5% higher than the revenue recorded in the first three months of 2014.

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