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Research contracted together with Maxiquim and published on February 20th in Sao Paulo, exclusively for members of ABIEF ( The Brazilian Flexible Plastic Packaging Industry Association), revealed that the Brazilian flexible plastic packaging industry registered growth of 3.5% in 2013 compared with the previous year, reaching a volume of 1.88 million tons produced.

Here sales grew 14.4 % in 2013, jumping from U.S. $ 12 billion in 2012 to U.S. $ 13.7 billion. Historically, the sector has recorded an average growth of 3.6 % and 6.8 % respectively in volume and billing rates since 2006. As clarifies the organization's president - businessman Sergio Carneiro, director of SR Embalagens, such high turnover, above the historical average, was the result primarily of increased sales prices in the industry, a direct result of large increases in the costs of raw materials during the period.

Also, according to the Maxiquim research, exports of flexible plastic packaging also rose in 2013, reaching 60,000 tons, very close to the results of 2010 and 2011 and marking a growth of 13.6%. In 2012 there was a decrease in the volume of exports: 53,000 tons. In 2013 imports of the sector decreased 8.3%, from 136,000 tons in 2012 to 124,000 tons.

"These movements are justified by the high exchange rate," points out Carneiro. "Even so, the sector trade balance remained in a deficit of 64,000 tons, the equivalent of U.S. $418 million due to U.S. imports of $624 million against $207 million exported." With these indicators, the apparent consumption of flexible plastic packaging was 1.940 million tons in the last year, up only 2.3% over the previous year.

The main market for flexible plastic packaging remains food, accounting for about 30% of demand. Despite expectations for significant growth in 2014, especially in beverages, analysts do not believe that the high will be enough to change the outcome. The sector is expected to close 2014 with moderate growth, similar to that recorded in 2013.

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