Plastic: Somewhere Between Optimism and Uncertainty

Although the sector keeps its operations alive thanks to the packaging they produce for the food and cleaning industry, there is uncertainty among entrepreneurs as the demand for bags, brushes, tableware, furniture and other products has contracted.

Thursday, September 10, 2020

As a result of the home quarantines that were decreed in the countries of the region in March 2020 due to covid-19, the outlook for the plastics industry fluctuates between optimism and uncertainty in market behavior.

Businessmen explain that the plastics sector managed to maintain part of its operations, due to its link with the food chain that demands products such as containers, jars, water and beverage bottles and hygiene items.

You may be interested in "Plastics: $151 Million in Business with Mexico"

Ricardo Moran, president of the Salvadoran Association of the Plastic Industry (Asiplastic), told Elmundo.sv that "... 'as a sector we will face a decrease impossible to quantify. However, our companies are in search of traditional markets in the country and are waiting for the economy to recover in the other countries due to the temporary closure. The country's indicators do not show any recovery, which should concern us."

See "Plastics Industry: Outlook for the Region"

According to Asiplastic, the Salvadoran plastic industry is the largest supplier to the Central American markets and with the restrictions on economic activity, they estimate that the commercial flow of products has decreased by 30%.

The article says that "... The most affected products of this low dynamism are bottles, bags, disposable, brooms, containers, as well as tableware, furniture and food packaging."

Data from the Central Reserve Bank indicate that between January and July 2019 and the same period in 2020, Salvadoran exports of plastic and its manufactures decreased by 5%, from $222 million to $211 million.

Another factor that has affected the industry is the rise in the cost of raw materials, which according to Moran has increased by 35% so far this year.

See articles from Elmundo.sv "Uncertain recovery for the plastics sector in El Salvador" and "Plastic sector suffers 35% increase in raw material costs" (both in Spanish).

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Plastics: Changes in Business Sectors

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In the new commercial scenario generated by the covid-19 crisis, some Guatemalan companies in the plastics industry are manufacturing masks, face masks, gloves and special suits for medical use.

The activity of the sector has fallen considerably due to the restrictions imposed by the outbreak of covid-19, and it is estimated that in the country only 60% of companies engaged in the manufacture of plastic products are working.

Plastics Industry: Outlook for the Region

March 2020

In Central America, it is expected that the impact of the covid-19 crisis on the plastic product manufacturing business will be partly explained by the expected drop in sales of bottles and household products.

The "Information System for the Impact Analysis of covid-19 on Business", prepared by the Trade Intelligence Unit of CentralAmericaData, measures the degree of impact that the crisis will have on companies according to their sector or economic activity, during the coming months.

El Salvador: Construction Activity Declines

March 2020

The sector continues to operate within the restrictions that have been imposed, but at a slower pace, as it has adjusted its processes to the required health and safety protocols.

Because of the public health threats caused by the covid-19 pandemic, the Government decreed a home quarantine a few days ago. However, some activities may continue to be carried out, provided they meet certain requirements.

Tuna: Optimism in the Midst of the Crisis

March 2020

As a result of the crisis generated by the spread of the coronavirus, producers predict that the demand for tuna in Central America will grow by about 50%.

Representatives of the Spanish conglomerate Calvo Group, say that in Panama the inventory of tuna prepared for all of March was exhausted in three days, due to the health emergency that markets in the region are going through.

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