After opening 2017 with renewed optimism amid signs of economic recovery and an improved political landscape, Latin American polymer market participants now find themselves stuck with some of the same issues they had hoped to shed as they enter the second half of the year. Lackluster demand in key markets has persisted, and renewed political and currency concerns in Brazil are leading to a pessimistic outlook for the region, sources said. “Nobody is investing; foreign companies are holding back, and there are no lines of credit for local businesses,” a Brazil-based trader said. “The public is buying less, and with every new scandal things just get worse; negativity spreads.” South America’s overall financial health is influenced by Brazil’s economy. With the impeachment of President Dilma Rousseff coinciding with 2016’s economic rock bottom, Brazil finished that year on a high note thanks to improving consumer confidence, a strengthening real and new president Michel Temer’s aggressive austerity package. But halfway through 2017, Temer is embroiled in a bribery scandal and fending off calls for resignation, while the real has given back all of this year’s gains as consumer confidence has plummeted and the financial sector has seen lending tighten. The real has
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Source: CTRM Center