Plastics: Lubricants and Release Agents
Mexico produces 5.3 tons of plastic every year; that is 2% of the world’s production.
In the last five years, an incredible 34% growth in production has contributed to 46% of the national exports. Mexico’s capabilities to satisfy the domestic market are low and therefore, 55% of total plastics materials are imported, roughly 3 million tons per year. According to ANIPAC (the National Association for the Plastic Industry), the yearly production of 5.3 tons are distributed by 8 segments: Packaging (47%), consumer goods (23%), construction (13%), electronics (8%), automotive (4), agriculture (3%), industrial products (1%) and medical (1%). There are around 2700 plastic manufacturers in the country, predominantly injection molding manufacturers, followed by extruders and blow molding manufacturers.
Manufacturers of plastic parts in Mexico contribute to 46% of the national total exports. The great majority of plastic manufacturers are concentrated at the center of Mexico. However, in Nuevo Leon there are over 300 companies, 16 of them are either OEM or joint ventures, like LEGO, EVCO and others. Nuevo Leon production is that of 100,000 tons. This has motivated the proliferation of secondary and tertiary suppliers for this industry: Resin pellet suppliers, mold makers and repair shops, lubricants and mold release agents, tools and others. Brands currently in this market are LUBOKS, BRUSIL, GOSA, BESLUX, DESMOSIL, SICORSA.
OEM manufacturers and other small plastic manufacturers are buying mold release agents and lubricants from local sources rather than importing directly from U. S. distributors or manufacturers. The best prospect for a partnership is a distributor servicing the plastic industry combined with other industries. The U. S. exporter may have difficulties to find a distributor that is solely devoted to the plastic industry.
The U. S. exporter with current distributors in Mexico should consider informing them of their search of distributors to cover other regions within the same market.
Opinion and Next Steps
The Mexican market provides lots of distributors in this particular segment; most of them are concentrated near the industrial parks. They are importers of various foreign chemical products but also distributors of domestic brands. Some of them have nationwide sales capabilities that might be of interest for the U. S. exporter with capabilities for large volume deliveries.
U. S. exporters needing assitance to enter the Mexican chemical market may find the U. S. Commercial Service a their best source for market assessment information and matchmaking services.