Earnings in the Brazilian industry of composite materials totaled USD 366 million in the first quarter, corresponding to an increase of 1.6% in comparison with the last quarter of 2011, and a 2.5% growth when compared to the same period of the previous year. The figures are from Maxiquim, a consulting firm hired by the Latin American Composite Materials Association.
In terms of volume of raw materials consumed, there was a 6.9% decrease, totalling 55,400 tons, but an 18.3% increase, if we consider the first quarter of 2011 Composite moulders in Brazil started the year with high stock levels, which would explain the gap between sales and consumption.
The demand for raw materials was also affected by the increase of automated processes, which indicate rates of waste significantly lower than the manual processes. According to Maxiquim’s survey, the share of manual moulding in Brazil fell from 55% in 2010 to 51% last year. “It is an irreversible global trend, primarily supported by economic and environmental issues”.
The survey also indicates an increase of 5.4% in the sector’s revenue in the second quarter, reaching USD 386 million. For this year, sales are expected to total USD 1,594 billion, thus corresponding to an increase of 11.8% – in volume, 224,000 tons (+7.9%), with the main sectors of growth coming from agricultural and transportation.
In 2011, the construction sector led the Brazilian consumption of composites, with 45% of the total processed, ahead of transportation (18%), corrosion (12%) and sanitation (7%). The applications in wind power – which use special composites based on epoxy resins – consumed 44,700 tons and generated a turnover of USD 312 million.