Braskem has been the undisputed leader of the Latin American thermoplastic resin market since August 2002, the date of its inception through the integration of six different companies. In the domestic market, considering the new capacities derived from Ipiranga acquisition, it held as of December 2007 a 52% share of the polyethylene market, 49% of the polypropylene market and 54% of the PVC market. Braskem is one of Brazil's two largest private sector industrial companies and the first petrochemical company to integrate both first and second generation petrochemical operations. Braskem directly employs approximately 5 thousand workers across its 18 production facilities, located in the states of Bahia, Rio Grande do Sul, Alagoas and São Paulo. The Company's standards of excellence as regards products, processes and management standards are those of a world class company committed to the principles of sustainable development. Its shares are listed on the São Paulo (Bovespa), New York (NYSE) and Madrid (Latibex) stock exchanges. Braskem produces a diversified portfolio of petrochemical products and has a strategic focus on polyethylene, polypropylene and polyvinylchloride, or PVC. Its business operations are organized in four business units namely Basic Petrochemicals Unit, Polyolefins Unit, Vinyls Unit, Business Development Unit. Mr Rui Chammas is a Brazilian Engineer, graduated from Instituto Tecnológico de Aeronáutica (ITA), and a post-graduate in Administration from FGV. During 1987 to 2002, Mr Chammas has worked with Rhodia Group’s polyamide chain business of Brazil and Europe. In 2002, Mr Chammas joint Braskem initially, as PVC Business Commercial Director. In 2006, he was entrusted the responsibilities of Commercial Director for Polypropylene Business of Braskem. Interviewed by Face2Face team, Mr Rui Chammas speaks about the current movements in Global Petrochemical industry and their impacts on downstream market of synthetic fibers.
To begin with, we would request your views on performance of Brazil in the global petrochemical industry? How has Braskem positioned itself in this sector?
Brazil has been experiencing a strong increase of the demand for plastics in the late years, due to better economic policies, better income distribution and political stability. The petrochemical market follows the good moment of brazilian economy. Besides, the sector is now consolidated in Brazil. Braskem will play a leading role in the region and has several plans of expansion, such as the JV with PDVSA in Venezuela, a ethanol based Polyethylene plant and a new polypropyelene unit. As other parts of the world, the current challenge is the increasing prices of crude and feedstocks.
Can you let us know about the market share that synthetic fiber sector embarks in petrochemical industry worldwide? What is Braskem stake in this sector?
CMAI establishes synthetic fiber, in general, as responsible for 15% of the worldwide polypropylene demand in 2008. The forecast for the next years (2009–2012) is the maintenance of this market-share.
Braskem has a large participation on this sector with partnerships on nonwoven and fiber. Moreover, the synthetic fiber sector embarks 17% of participation on Braskem sales.
Decline of the dollar accompanied with global crude prices are flaring issues today. How do you see the aftermath of this situation?
Petrochemical business will have to adapt to this new scenario with high crude prices. We believe that less competitive worldwide units will be shutting down or reducing output as new capacities come onstream. Prices will be naturally set to a new plateau, but with lower margins for the next years.
DISCLAIMER: All views and opinions expressed in this column are solely of the interviewee, and they do not reflect in any way the opinion of Fibre2Fashion.com.