The figures are from Maxiquim, a consulting firm hired by the Latin American Composite Materials Association (ALMACO).

In terms of volume of raw materials consumed, there was a 6.9% decrease, to 55 400 tons, but an 18.3% increase if the first quarter of 2011 is considered.

“Composite moulders have turned the year with high stocks, which explains the gap between sales and consumption,” says Gilmar Lima, president of ALMACO.

The demand for raw materials was also affected by the increase of automated processes, which leads to less waste than manual processes. According to Maxiquim’s survey, the share of manual moulding in Brazil fell from 55% in 2010 to 51% in 2011.

“It is an irreversible global trend, primarily supported by economic and environmental issues,” notes Lima.

The survey also indicates an increase of 5.4% in the sector’s revenue in the 2012 second quarter, reaching US$386 million. For the full year 2012, sales are expected to total US$1594 billion, an increase of 11.8%, or 224 000 tons (+7.9%) in volume.

“The main sectors responsible for such growth will be the agricultural and transportation sectors,” reports Lima.

In 2011, the construction sector led the consumption of composites in Brazil, accounting for 45% of the total processed. It was followed by transportation (18%), corrosion (12%) and sanitation (7%). The wind power sector – which use composites based on epoxy resins - consumed 44 700 tons and generated a turnover of US$312 million.