The buzzword during presentations and on the show floor this year was “collaboration,” Humberg said. Among major addresses included during the show were those of Thierry Vanlacker, the global CEO of AkzoNobel, Fabiano Sant´anna, the digital director of BASF South America and Andy Doyle, the World Coatings Council president and CEO of the American Coatings Association.
The over-riding theme of the show, organized by Abrafati, or the Associacao Brasileira dos Fabricantes de Tintas, was a continued and sharpened focus on quality, both in terms of product and customer service.
With more than 1.5 billion liters of paint and coatings produced in Brazil each year, the industry sales total is close to $8 billion and rising, on an average per capita consumption of about seven liters, according to Abrafati statistics. Abrafati has helped foment this growth with its 17-year quality program, which has incorporated some 44,000 test samples, covering 90 percent of the national market.
The general market trend in Brazil is one of cautious expansion now that the economy and the political climate have stabilized.
Expectations are of a sales expansion of around four percent this year, or about two percent above expansion of the gross domestic product, estimated at two percent this year.
While the economy class of architectural segment sales is still the largest source of overall sales – about 83 percent of the total consumed volume in Brazil – the standard quality and premium quality lines are expanding more rapidly, several sources suggest.
This is because the per capita income in Brazil is rising, and now closing in on $17,000, based on the gross national product of some $3.5 billion. There are about 70 million homes in the country. Overall, Brazil is the fifth-largest consumer of paint and coatings in the world, according to Abrafati.
While investments have been slow over the past few years, a current focus of reinvestment is the improvement of production technology, efficiency and sustainability, Humberg said. Idle capacity in the industry is estimated at about 200 million liters currently.
The reformulation of many paint and coatings products in the market as water-based chemistry is advancing with the broad market perception that volatile organic chemicals (VOCs) contribute to air, ground and water pollution.
The green movement in Brazil is very advanced, with a stock market requirement that publicly-traded companies produce a sustainability report on an annual basis.
The inclusion of more functional additives in the Brazilian paint and coatings market has helped expand the sales of mid- and premium line products, manufacturers agree. This trend is also helping to lift sales and profits at retail sales points, be they company stores, distribution networks or independent stores.
Many formulators are focusing on technical education and assistance at the store level, which helps boost sales of standard, premium and ultra-premium paint lines.
Brazil now has about 8,000 specialized paint stores, about 1,000 DIY home centers that sell paint, and about 100,000 construction materials stores that sell paint, Humberg said.
Among the many innovations, product launches and new programs announced by manufacturers and suppliers at the show were the following, in alphabetical order:
Braskem: Sao Paulo-based Braskem has extended its “I’m Green” line of raw materials for the paint and coatings industry with the offering of its sugar cane-derived HE-705, an oxygenated solvent with a high evaporation rate. Braskem is currently the largest producer of thermoplastic resins in the Americas and the largest producer of polypropylene in the U.S. Its production focuses on polyethylene (PE), polypropylene (PP) and polyvinylchloride (PVC) resins, in addition to basic chemical inputs such as ethylene, propylene, butadiene, benzene, toluene, chlorine, soda, and solvents,
Eastman: Sao Paulo-based Eastman brought a global marketing perspective to the show, offering the results of a recently-completed global consumer study. While Latin America was represented in the study by Mexico, many of the findings in that market correlated closely with conditions in Brazil, said Henrique Amorim, the marketing communications representative for the company. Social media’s role was found to be a very large factor in consumer education and purchase preference, and a desire for more effective and numerous functionalities was also a stark finding. Eastman plans to do a detailed study of Brazil during the coming year.
Evonik: The Essen, North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany-based company is touting its zero-VOC deaerator at the show, among other products, which eliminates surface defects in low-VOC formulations, now popular in Brazil especially in standard and premium paint lines. The Aerex and Airex deaerator lines are based on a variety of chemistries to offer a broad solution range
Grace: The Baltimore, Maryland-based Process Innovation Center of Grace offered a new line of wood coatings at the show, including low-VOC and UV curing formulations, noted Steve Broadwater, the North American Technical Service manager for Engineered. One product in promotion at the show is the company’s Syloid line, the leading silica matting agent in Brazil and Latin America.
Lanxess: Sao Paulo-based Lanxess touted a portfolio of inorganic pigments at the show, which include the company’s Bayferrox and Colortherm pigment lines, according to Sylvia Sciencio, a Marketing Analyst for Latin America at the company. These microgranules are particularly low-dusting and have a much higher bulk density than a corresponding powder, which represents a major advantage for transport and storage.
Munzing: Abstatt, Germany-based Munzing Chemie offered a new comparison of the functional value of its wax dispersants and micronized waxes, among other products. Improved coverage was a key result of the addition of waxes to formulations, which many consumers are eager to purchase as the cost of labor in Brazil increases; one-coat painting for residential customers is now a strong driver of purchasing decisions, noted Melanie Wiens, the head of marketing and product management within the Wax Business Unit of the company.
Sibelco: Sao Paulo state-based Sibelco is touting its Royale line of mineral products in slurry form from its new factory at Jarimu. Serving clients with the slurried product within a 250 mile radius, the company is also promoting its Minex micronized functional fillers. The product contains less than 0.1 percent crystalline silica, a major concern among Brazilian customers.
Wanhua Chemical Group: Shandong, China-based Wanhua released a new aromatic polyisocyanurate at the show, Wannate TL-75E. The toluene diisocyanate-based chemical is used to formulate two-component polyurethane coatings.
The company is also the world’s largest producer of isocyanate (MDI or methylene diphenyl diisocyanate).