Global Business Reports


Alice Pascoletti, Matthias Lomas

Mexico Petrochemicals and Chemicals 2018 APLA Pre-Release

March 21, 2018

Before the energy reform in 2013, the production of basic petrochemicals was reserved to the Mexican state through Pemex. Mexico’s petrochemical production had been in decline for decades after Mexico joined the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT) in the early 1990s and then NAFTA in 1994, which meant its market became flooded with petrochemical products from abroad. This not only meant Pemex produced less basic petrochemicals but also that the private sector in Mexico invested less in downstream capacity.

Therefore, the move by Braskem Idesa in June 2016 to open a new 1.05 mt/y integrated polyethylene complex in the state of Veracruz, the outcome of a US$5.2 billion investment, was a cathartic moment for the industry. Nevertheless, Mexico’s landmark energy reforms still have a long way to go before adequate feedstock is available so that Mexican petrochemicals can reach their potential.  The volume of petrochemical production fell from around 9.67 million mt/y in 2015 to 8.47 mt/y in 2016, whilst imports grew by 7.8% and exports decreased by 11.9% in the same period.   Furthermore, elections scheduled for 2018 risk unraveling current President Enrique Peña Nieto’s ambitious energy reforms if rival candidate Andrés Manuel López Obrador is victorious; the NAFTA trade agreement is under revision and the outcome uncertain; and the petrochemical industry in the USA is undergoing a revival based on shale that is broadening Mexico’s trade deficit in petrochemicals. 

GBR has met with executives from across the industry and reports their concerns and objectives along with our own analysis of the current state of the industry.


Unigel Mexico laments the country’s inadequate feedstock production.
Oxiteno is expanding its presence in North America with new facilities in both Mexico and USA.
Anastacio Overseas trades in chemicals sourcing from around the world to supply the Latin American market.
Evonik intends to expand its operations in Mexico across the board.


Chile Mining 2024 Pre-Release

The Chilean mining renaissance has begun. In 2024, the country is set to experience its first increase in copper production since 2018, driven by Codelco’s production surge and Teck Resources’ Quebrada Blanca II coming online. This year also saw the first major regulatory update since 1983 with amendments to Law No. 21,420, which modernized the mining framework. The government has shown strong support for the industry by committing to reduce permit processing times by a third and proposing 20 actionable measures to streamline processes. Additionally, Chile classified its 69 saline environments, leaving 31 open for private development and initiating a request for information process in April to rapidly advance these areas.



"We plan to double our copper production by the end of the decade. There remains significant upside potential in the gold industry, and the copper operations are strategic and additive to that."