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A profile of the South American paints industry



Published June 27, 2012
Related Searches: Marine Coatings Automotive Refinish
IRL has published a new edition of its “Profile of the South American Paints Industry.”
This report covers the markets for paints and coatings in Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Ecuador, Paraguay, Peru, Uruguay, and Venezuela. It segments each country market into nine mainstream coatings sectors for 2011, and also includes overall market forecasts to 2016.

Brazil is by far the largest country market in South America, accounting for some 60 percent of total demand for paints and coatings.

Argentina and Colombia are the second and third largest markets respectively, while Uruguay and Paraguay are the smallest.

The major multinational paints and coatings companies have a strong presence in South America and continue to invest in the market, via organic growth and also through strategic acquisitions.

Official population statistics give a per capita paint consumption of 7.1kg for the South America region as a whole, with the highest levels seen in Brazil and Chile. Bolivia has the lowest paint consumption per person.

Despite starting from a small base, Bolivia is expected to show the fastest growth in its coatings market over the medium term (around eight percent p.a.), followed by Chile and Uruguay.

There are several key drivers behind the expected future growth in the South American market.

The growth of the oil and gas industries has seen Brazil rushing to develop its vast offshore petroleum resources, while Argentina has newly discovered shale gas reserves and Colombia and Peru are expanding their refineries and alternative energy projects such as thermoelectric, hydroelectric and wind power.

Investment in the mining sector in Bolivia (tin, zinc, lithium), Chile (copper), Colombia (gold and coal), Peru (silver, gold, copper) etc., is growing.

The advent of the Football World Cup to Brazil in 2014 and the Olympic Games in 2016, will bring significant investment to improve infrastructure and build new sporting and accommodation facilities.

Government social housing programs to address the housing deficit, notably ‘Minha Casa Minha Vida’ (‘My Home My Life’) in Brazil and similar schemes in Argentina, Bolivia, Chile, Peru, Venezuela etc. are fueling growth. Rural migration and emigrants returning from Europe add to the housing problems in many countries.

Rising car ownership, due to greater spending power and higher living standards, along with poor quality roads and frequent traffic accidents, will boost the market for automotive refinishes.

South America’s coastline provides opportunities for the marine coatings industry. Brazil’s Petrobras is currently modernizing its tanker fleet, Chile is the world’s second largest salmon producer and Peru has the second largest fishing industry in the world.

South America continues to face challenges too, not least arising from political, economic and social instabilities. Problems facing the paint industry include:

• Reliance on imports for many raw materials required for paint production e.g. resins, pigments;
• Lack of regulation concerning environmental aspects of paints and coatings, which can undermine consumer confidence in product quality;
• Corruption at government and industry level – Chile and Colombia have recently passed legislation to specifically tackle corruption problems;
• Venezuela’s wide scale nationalization program has forced many investment projects to be put on hold; and
• Argentina’s controversial nationalization of oil company YPF (Yacimientos Petrolíferos Fiscales) and its expropriation from Spanish energy firm R EPS ol has caused political turmoil.


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