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Brazil resins demand down 7.6% in 2015, exports rise - Braskem

HOUSTON, February 18, 2016 (PCW) -- Brazil's consumption of PE, PP and PVC fell 7.6% in 2015 to 4.9 million mt, Braskem reported in its earnings release on Thursday.

At the same time, the Brazilian petrochemical producer saw its resin exports increase 28% and its cracker utilization rate climb 3 percentage points to 89%, yielding a record volume of petrochemical feedstocks.

Brazil's resin consumption was down even more sharply in 4Q, by 17% versus a year earlier. despite an outage at the Maua Petrochemical Complex that reduced cracker utilization to 83%, Braskem exported 289,000 mt of resins, up 5% from a year earlier.

US traders have seen Braskem actively competing with US imports for PE and PP market share in South and Central American markets. Brazilian PP exports have also shown up at US ports recently.

Braskem's US and Europe PP operations saw 98% capacity utilization in 2015, with 1.97 million mt of PP produced.

The company's US PP-propylene spreads expanded 163% in 2015, amid strong PP demand and an oversupply of the monomer.

The Braskem Idesa joint venture is expected to start up a new cracker and PE production in Mexico this quarter. -- David Barry

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