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Mexico looks good

We were present at the last Latin American Coatings Show (Expo LACS) 2017 where we obtained a reference from the Mexican market and met new products from some of the exhibitors present.

By Inpra Latina

After Brazil, Mexico is our top representative in the paints and coatings market for the entire Latin American region. The sector there is very mature, moves a lot and has managed to overcome the not so positive moments that the country suffered politically at the beginning of this 2017.

Experts agree that Mexico is experiencing a good time, not the ideal, but that it allows to keep in the industry very important players from other countries and local actors that boost this economy. 

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All this could be evidenced in a better way during the Latin American Coatings Show (Expo LACS) 2017 that Anafapyt was held from June 20 to 22 in Mexico City, where more than 65 companies in the paints and coatings sector announced their most recent novelties and showed that in this country the industry looks good.

INPRA LATINA took advantage of the participation in the fair to consult with some of the participants of the fair and know their impressions about the current state of the Mexican market of paints and coatings. 

A solid market
Our guests agree that the Mexican market is in a stable period, where growth is moderate but that allows us to continue executing important investments and acquiring new technologies. 

For example, Miguel Angel Castillo, business director of the BL-Coatings Additives for Mexico and the Andean Region of Evonik, considers that "for 20 years to date the Mexican market has grown in the order of 4 to 5% with ups and downs; this year is no exception given that we have more investments in Mexico, more assembly plants, more companies that believe in the Mexican economy and establish themselves. What makes the paint industry unique is that it is very complicated to import paint, it has to be 'tropicalized' or 'customized' locally, that's why we believe that in the coming years we could grow as a country at an average greater than 6 – 7%".

In the same way thinks Mario Muñoz, Sales Manager of Manchester, who is optimistic about the future of the sector in the North American country, even more so knowing that everything indicates that the change of administration in the United States has already passed its worst moment: 

"The changes we had by the U.S. administration caused in principle indecisions about investments and that this was going to generate greater distancing; it was a first semester of polling. The second semester has begun more dynamic, Trump is not something that scares us, they are things that politically are going to be adjusted. Currently the outlook at the end of this administration is going to be outstanding."

Mario's thinking is very similar to that of Sergio Zárate, in charge of the inorganic pigments – iron oxides area of Lanxess, who commented: "The Mexican market is growing every year, it is consolidating in an important way. Despite the current economic conditions in the country, I believe that it has remained at a steady rate of growth, low, but steady. I think that's an important factor. In the iron oxides business it is the same, that is why Lanxess continues to make investments around the world in our plants in Germany, Brazil and China, to increase the production of our materials and be able to supply markets such as Mexico."

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On the political factors, Sergio said that "they affect us, the trends in investments of the state towards programs and developments have been limited a little, but they have been corrected with other elements and we are going towards an improvement."

For his part, Luis Iza Ludlow, commercial director of the LAA Northern Region of coatings, construction, monomers and plastic additives at Dow, makes an analysis based on his relationship with Anafapyt. He says it's been a good year, but more product regulation is lacking.

"From the market in general, so far this year, the first half of the year we can see in the architectural and construction part that it has been a good year, the national players are growing moderately from 3 to 4% and without doing so in the sectors of better quality. The market is very competitive, where the quality of coatings, paints, waterproofing or some sealants has evolved in the last five years, but not in product quality. Due to extreme competition, in addition to the price of the dollar, we see that this quality is relaxing and suffering and there we as suppliers are seeing two fronts: you adapt to that circumstance by offering better products for those segments and / or you work on standards to regulate qualities. The work we are doing with Anafapyt and the government is very aligned in trying to regulate."

Regarding the political influence in the industry, Luis said that "politically there was a nervousness about knowing what was going to happen and that was seen more in the exchange rate of the dollar than in demand; Once we understood that (Donald Trump's) tweets were still that and not stocks, we saw the first few months that demand followed and the exchange rate went down, something that has fallen considerably. Politics in these six months has not had much impact."

On the other hand, Ana Carolina Felix, Field Marketing Manager in Latin America at Dow, analyzed the technical aspect of the Mexican market. "Mexico has a greater maturity in the point of view of quality of formulations, but when we compare with the market of the United States and Europe we do look at a possibility of improving the quality of paint, and when we talk about more premium technologies we do not want to bring people things that people can not afford. That's why we have to talk about cost benefit, selling something 20% more expensive but that will last twice as long." 

Some news of the Anafapyt LACS 2017
We consulted our same guests about the novelties in products and technologies that they presented during the event. There is evidence of a remarkable development in the area of pigments, iron oxides, resins, additives, resins, among others that have evolved to be much more complete.

- Publicidad -

For example, Miguel Castillo, from Evonik, highlighted the main novelties of his company for the Mexican market: "Now nanotechnology and aqueous systems are very fashionable, they are two paths that are very striking for the client. In nanotechnology we handle nanocopumimposed silicas that are to improve the properties of a paint, either in hardness or barrier effects. In water-based systems there are new segments that are turning towards that technology such as the automotive industry, original finishing, primary, water-based industrial systems."

However, Miguel is clear in highlighting that solvent-based products are still very important: Mexico is about halfway, we are part of Latin America, of the Nafta region (North American Free Trade Agreement), so the formulas are of various kinds, knowing that solvent base is still very important but also looking at new technology. On a solvent basis there is a trend in Europe on high solids, I always say that those are the cousins of the solvent base, when you get into a formula of high solids it is in 'rough mode' a solvent-based formula, removing the solvent; when you remove the solvent from that formula it is stressed in wetting pigment, in wetting substrate, forming film, removing bubble and all those are issues that with solvent base there is no problem, but with high solids you find that type of problem ".

For his part, Marcos Basso, Eastman's director of market development, for Latin America, announced one of the novelties presented by Eastman, focused on the development of low-odor coatings. 

"We have a coalescing that is the Texanon, which contributes to the need for lower smell because we notice that this is the trend, because people are starting to paint their house much more, and this is a need and demand of the client now. For this we develop low-odor amines, because people are looking for sustainable products. 26% of those consumers like to paint their own home, of that 26% 70% look for sustainable products and feel guilty if they use products that harm the environment. We were able to develop a zero-VOC coalescing." 

"In iron oxides we are launching our new line of red or yellowish pigments, which have as an advantage for the market that they are purer and cleaner that allow to make combinations with other materials and will facilitate the range of colors. We already have traditional products that are blue-red and we have expanded the range to obtain very yellowish and clean reds, this greatly favors the producers of concentrates, manufacturers who make specialties with organic pigments or some mixtures and will give them benefits, it is a bet that Lanxess made with its investment in the China plant to obtain this new line of yellowish-red products, " commented Sergio Zárate, from Lanxess.

On the subject of sustainability, Sergio commented that "we have bet a lot on clean processes, in which the use of resources has been optimized in such a way that we generate processes to obtain very low waste. In China it has been optimized and we have an iron oxide manufacturing process that significantly reduces greenhouse gases such as NOx or Nx0. It is a bet in which we try to continue reducing emissions." 

Leandro Agostini, director of the company Percolore, presented his machine options for the paints and coatings sector: "We are already working in Mexico, with Comex we already have machines and that is why we now want to consolidate the market because it is a very interesting country to develop, especially for dosing machines, or equalizers as they say here, and we bring technologies that are very interesting because we believe that as the equalization process we have in Brazil is very similar in Mexico, we have large manufacturers and many small ones, and we have that idea that a machine must adapt to the customer and not the other way around". 

Leandro added that "that's why we have machines that are still simple but with high technology. The same machine can grow with the customer, who buys a small machine in terms of production, easy operation and is automatic, which is much better than a manual, the focus we are giving at this fair is that people can have it, it has easy maintenance, it is safer and does everything alone, it has no obsolescence. We want to give the small entrepreneur the same opportunity as the big ones."

On some features of the machine, Leandro explained that "the machine is 100% integrated, there is the machine, the computer and the software and the same technician does everything. It differs from other machines where sometimes the software is from another company and when making corrections you have to call a technician for space. On the other hand, we can do the whole process even remotely via the internet. The machine can save up to 90% waste. And the most important thing is that they are very accessible because we can lease up to 60 months, which allows access to any company." 

Fernando López Altamirano, R&D of Manchester, announced what the company has been doing in terms of paints and coatings. "Manchester has other areas where dispersants had been produced more than 10 years ago, when we saw the possibility of polymerizing and making products for paints, we took our dispersants, modified them slightly to be able to occupy them in the paint area. The new products are acrylic thickeners, which are made with Mexican technology, based on a functional monomer of raw material from Mexico and is giving good results, is stable at temperature, gives very good displacement power. From May we started with a line of resins of which we are developing tests, some we have already done and presented at the fair but we are making better resins that are economical and with sustainable materials". 

Dow Chemical
Ana Carolina Félix, from Dow Chemical, told about the news: "For the coating segment we have industrial technologies, metal, wood, road demarcation, architectural. We have resins, rheology modifiers, dispersants, coalescing, surfactants, silicone additives, biocides. We have innovations such as the traffic paint part, the Fasttrack 5408, which is a resin of very high durability. In industrial applications we have the Maincoate AEH, an epoxy acrylic hybrid resin that has as an innovation the benefit of durability mainly related to the mechanical and chemical resistance of an epoxy, but with the UV resistance of an acrylic". 

On architecture, Ana said: "We are talking a lot about functional paints where in addition to presenting color for the environments it also gives you different functionalities, we have a hydrophobic paint that helps you protect your house from humid environments, exterior and interior applications; is a 100% acrylic resin that also has hydrophobic performance. We also have elastomeric paints and what it does is that in addition to helping to cover fissures in concrete, it is a high-performance resin for outdoor applications where it does not let cracks appear". 

This year, Wacker was at the event for the first time and presented its next polymer and silicone innovations for the paints and coatings sectors in the region. Silres WH 80 A silicone resin emulsion, for example, provides treated wood with durable protection against moisture and consequent damage. The Primis AF 1000 is a binder that guarantees bright and durable exterior paints with a reduced dirt collector, while the Vinnapas EP 3360 dispersion allows the formulation of low-odor paints. Other highlights are silicone solutions for anti-graffiti and water-repellent paints, although vapor permeable, as well as binders for self-leveling flooring, fire coatings and waterproofing membranes.

The company announced different novelties among which the following stood out: 

•The first neutralizing agent for water-based paints, free of VOC/SVOC, produced from renewable raw materials and without hazard classification: the new Genamin Gluco 50 that received the EcoTain seal thanks to its excellence in sustainability.

•New stabilizers, pioneers in facilitating the application of mineral paints without agrochemicals: Dispersogen SPS and Dispersogen SPG received the EcoTain seal thanks to their excellence in sustainability.

•Exolit AP 435, an innovative halogen-free flame retardant that prolongs the lifespan of water-based intumescent coatings without affecting fire protection properties.

Duván Chaverra Agudelo
Author: Duván Chaverra Agudelo
Jefe Editorial en Latin Press, Inc,.
Comunicador Social y Periodista con experiencia de más de 16 años en medios de comunicación. Apasionado por la tecnología y por esta industria.

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