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Exports of Brazilian roll goods increase.

Shipment growth was 52% in 1997.

In the last year, the shipment of nonwovens from Brazil has increased significantly, although specific exports vary from country to country. According to export statistics from the Brazilian Department of Commerce, 1997 recorded the strongest growth in exports in terms of both value and weight. The value of Brazilian exports increased 52% from 1996 to 1997, reaching U.S. $38.18 million. Export data is based on shipment documents collected by the Brazilian Custom Service and the Brazilian Tariff Schedule (TAB) classification codes, which must be posted on outgoing materials. Under this schedule, nonwoven roll goods are classified under tab code 5603, which covers all nonwovens whether or not they are impregnated, laminated or coated, sealable for tea bags, in different weight divisions (less than 25 grams per square meter, between 25-70 grams per square meter, between 70-150 grams per square meter and more than 150 grams per square meter) and under TAB code 5602, which covers needlepunched and stitchbonded roll goods.

In 1997, 11.67 million kilograms of nonwoven roll goods were exported from Brazil to various countries, with the majority targeting the Mercosul market once again. This figure represents a 53.5% increase from the 7.6 million kilograms exported in 1996, valued at $38.2 million FAZ (FAZ value is defined as the transaction cost and does not include freight, insurance and duties). Exports in 1997 in terms of FAZ value were 52.8% higher than in 1996.

A significant portion (56.5%) of the 1997 figure - $21.6 million - consists of exports to the Mercosul market of Brazil, Argentina, Uruguay and Paraguay. In 1996, $13.8 million - or about 55% - was exported to these countries. Exports to the Mercosul market have increased tremendously in the last year.

Unlike the significant Mercosul rise, the amount of exports to NAFTA countries (U.S., Canada and Mexico) decreased from 1996 to 1997. From 1993 to 1995, the NAFTA FAZ value dropped 50%, then recovered the following year, representing a market of $3.6 million or 14.4% of total nonwoven roll goods exported from Brazil in 1996. In 1997, however, the figure decreased almost 50% to 7.6% - or $2.0 million - of total exports.

The South American countries of Bolivia, Chile, Colombia, Ecuador, Peru and Venezuela, contributed to the 1996 export figure with $5.8 million or 22% of total exports, while in 1997 Brazilian exports to these countries in 1997 increased to $12.2 million and 31.9% of total exports - a 10% increase over the previous year.

The remaining exports were attributed to countries in Central America, the Far East, Africa and Europe. These exports contributed $1.5 million or 3.9% of the total distribution in 1997 - a decrease from the prior year figure of $1.7 million or 7.1%.

In conclusion, Brazil experienced tremendous growth in the FAZ value of exports to the Mercosul and South American countries and a slight decrease in shipments to the NAFTA countries in 1997.

The principal categories exported by Brazil remain polyester spunbonds for geotextiles, polypropylene spunbonds and thermal bonds for the disposable hygiene market and needlepunched and other materials for end uses such as automotives and bedding. Among the many factors that contributed to the growth of exports in 1997, mainly to the Mercosul area and South America, are hygiene market expansion, lower duties and Brazilian currency stabilization.

Freddy Gustavo Rewald is president of Nao Tecidos Consultoria e Assesoria, a Sao Paulo, Brazil-based consulting firm. He also organizes a nonwovens basics course and writes a quarterly column for NONWOVENS INDUSTRY. Mr. Rewald can be reached at Rue Martinho da Silva, 107, Apt. 84, 04124-080-Saude, Sao Paulo, Brazil; Tel/fax: 55-11-272-1533.
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Author:Rewald, Freddy Gustavo
Publication:Nonwovens Industry
Date:May 1, 1998
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