In 2017, sales in the Brazilian composites sector totaled US$ 720 million, 1.9% than the previous year, according to a report commissioned by the Latin American Composite Materials Association (ALMACO).

The association says that this is the first positive result since 2014, when the Brazilian economic crisis began. The consumption of raw materials increased 23.2%, amounting to 196,000 tons, while the number of jobs fell 0.9%, totaling 59,000 jobs.

‘The transportation market was crucial for us to achieve this performance, especially due to the high demand for agricultural vehicles, such as tractors and harvesters,’ said Gilmar Lima, president of ALMACO. ‘It is worth noting that poles for power grids also contributed, hence considering the infrastructure sector.’

The report says that 2018 sales could reach US$ 790 million, 9.4% higher than in 2017, while the consumption of raw materials could grow 4.8%, corresponding to 205,000 tons.

‘Transportation, agribusiness and infrastructure will continue to grow,’ it said. ‘In parallel, segments that faced many difficulties over the past two years, such as the construction, wind and gas, should report a recovery. And new niches will continue to emerge, albeit slowly, supported by the flexibility and lightness typical of composites.’

Despite these results Lima said that he did not consider the negative phase faced by the composites sector since 2014 fully ended. ‘We have lost a lot in the past three years,’ he explained. ‘In terms of volume, in 2016 we repeated the results of 2006. […] Now we need to stay alert, rethink our organizations and seek financial and strategic alliances to help us invest in education, innovation and communication.

This story uses material from ALMACO, with editorial changes made by Materials Today. The views expressed in this article do not necessarily represent those of Elsevier.