Lorena Stancu, Carola Gómez, Felicia Coulter

Latin America Chemical Week Report 2023

December 08, 2023

Corrections in petrochemical prices have been long coming, yet the speed and sharpness of the relapse surprised the industry. A reduction in margins had started in 2019, but the pandemic distorted the cycle, putting on hold the construction of world-scale petrochemical plants and playing with consumption behaviors as economies closed and re-started. Today, those capacities in Asia and the US that have been years in the making have come onstream, oversupplying the market.

As a net importer of chemicals, Latin America (Latam) is absorbing a fair share of that product, putting pressure on its own domestic producers. In the competition with Asian and American products, Latam producers are at a disadvantage due to a shortage of feedstocks, as well as more expensive feedstocks. To traverse this difficult part of the cycle, players must leverage their best attributes. In Brazil, chemical producers and distributors focus on scale in one of the world’s biggest markets, while Mexico is all about location, as a proxy investment destination to its powerful neighbor.

If there is a light at the end of the long, winding tunnel of the petrochemical downcycle, it flickers green. Or at least, this is what every petrochemical player we interviewed for this edition seems to think. For every negative figure in the sales of olefins, aromatics, and other basic chemicals, there is a ray of hopeful growth in products with a green component. The availability of renewable generating sources like wind, solar, or biomass is also identified as a significant opportunity for the growth of green chemistries. Meanwhile, the traditional chemicals are not in a bad spot either in the context of the energy transition, as they become a more prominent outlet for oil use. In Latam growth in bio-based, recycled or green-powered products parallels growth in oil and gas production. Most of our interviewees concede both are necessary.


Haldor Topsoe discusses the potential for energy transition in Latin America.
The Mexican Union of Agrochemicals Manufacturers and Formulators (UMFFAAC) describes the main themes impacting its members.
Cristian García of PROCCYT explains the dynamics influencing Mexico’s crop protecting sector.
FMC discusses the rise of sustainable products which have minimal residues on crops.


MACIG 2024 - Mining in Africa Country Investment Guide

A decade after launching the first MACIG, the 2024 edition still spans thousands of kilometers, over 150 interviews, and a dozen country profiles to paint the most comprehensive picture of a complex and fundamental continent for global mining. The extraordinary, unprecedented demand for the continent’s resources is currently balanced by the global landscape of uncertainty and price volatility. The latter keeps deterring investor appetite in projects sitting in nations with little political stability and affected by infrastructure, energy, and security woes. As these opposing forces continue to unfold, the fate of the African mining sector teeters on the precipice of either a generational opportunity or missed potential.



"We believe technology should enhance, not replace, the role of geologists in exploration."