CAPE TOWN, South Africa – Despite the effects of the economic turmoil of 2009, Frost & Sullivan reports that South Africa's chemicals markets remained fairly robust last year, thanks mainly to significant investments in infrastructure leading up to the 2010 FIFA World Cup. So far, a total of R 11.92 billion has been spent towards stadium construction alone, and suppliers of construction chemicals have benefited from this spending.
"Government spending leading up to the World Cup has buffered the local economy from the demand concerns facing the global market," noted Frost & Sullivan Chemicals Program Manager Mani James. "The construction sector performed well through the recession and was growing at just over 10 percent last year. However, demand from other end-user groups, including the agriculture, mining and consumer sectors, is still under pressure."
James noted that the last few months leading up to the World Cup will see the final drive in infrastructure preparations. As this activity subsides in the second half of 2010, the economy is expected to slow, challenging local industries. However, transportation, water works and electricity infrastructural projects continuing over the next two to three years will provide opportunities.
"The local automotive industry is also expected to return to a growth cycle for the first time in three years, albeit at a slow rate," James added. "This will present opportunities for automotive suppliers, including platinum producers, plastics manufacturers and all associated consumable materials suppliers."