LONDON - IRL has published a new and fully updated edition of its Profile of the Central American & Caribbean Paints Industry.

The report covers the markets for coatings in eight Central American countries (Belize, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Mexico, Nicaragua and Panama) and eight Caribbean countries (Bahamas, Barbados, Cuba, Dominican Republic, Haiti, Jamaica, Puerto Rico and Trinidad & Tobago). It segments each country market into nine mainstream coatings sectors for 2011 and also includes overall market forecasts to 2016.

Mexico is by far the largest country market in the Central American/Caribbean region, accounting for over 60 percent of total demand for coatings. Guatemala, the Dominican Republic and Cuba are the second-, third- and fourth-largest markets respectively, while Belize, the Bahamas and Barbados are the smallest. The market splits almost 70:30 between decorative and industrial paints and coatings. Most countries are net importers coatings, with the key exceptions being Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala and Barbados.

Official population statistics give a per capita paint consumption of 6.6kg for the region as a whole, with the highest levels seen in the Bahamas and Barbados. Haiti has the lowest paint consumption per person at only 0.6kg.

The highest growth rates over the medium term are expected in Panama, where investment in expansion of the Panama Canal is aimed at allowing access to larger vessels. With canal traffic in the realm of 15,000 vessels per year or about four percent of global trade, Panama already possesses the largest trade zone in the Western Hemisphere, at Colón.

Key drivers behind expected future growth in the Central American/Caribbean market include reconstruction after the Haitian earthquake of 2010 and a new U.S.-funded industrial park in Haiti, the demand for coatings from the strong agro-industrial sectors in the region, tourism and the demand for new infrastructure it creates, and economic reforms anticipated in Cuba in the wake of leadership changes.

A Profile of the Central American & Caribbean Paints Industry is available now from IRL. It includes market data for 2011 and forecasts to 2016 for each country included in the report, plus a SWOT analysis of the coatings industry overall and market splits by end-use sector. It also outlines the key industry players in each country and shows key trends in the decorative and industrial segments.

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