Volume 37, Issue 3, March 2002

GlobalUpdate

High Natural Gas Costs Take Toll on Mexico’s Glass Industry
High costs of natural gas in Northern Mexico’s glass industry have led to nearly 3,000 lay-offs in the Mexican glass industry since last year, and eight companies have had to close, said Ruffino Salinas, president of Nuevo Leon Association of Glass Companies. 

Glass companies’ three-year contracts for the purchase of natural gas from Petroleos Mexicanos (Permex) at $2.10 per million BTUs are killing the industry, Salinas said. “We asked Permex authorities to reconsider the contracts that we had signed, because the fall in the price of natural gas is putting us out of competition. We are already not exporting, and we’re losing more because of illegal imports of glass,” he said. 

Earlier in 2001 glass workers in Northern Nuevo Leon, Mexico, had demanded that Customs and Economy Ministry authorities take action against the growing number of Asian imports of glass products. According to Alfonso Serna Villareal, vice president of Nuevo Leon, Mexican businesses are facing a 20-percent fall in sales. Villareal said it was urgent that the government act in support of the local industry “with real tariff barriers on countries with which Mexico has free-trade agreements.” He added that the price of glass in countries such as Malaysia and Thailand “too low, a third or a quarter compared to international standards in prices of dollars per kilogram.”

Calcutta Trader Buys Assets of Hindustan Pilkington Glass Ltd.
KK Singhania, a Calcutta-based trader with Choudhury Adyong Ltd., has purchased the assets, including machinery and land, of Hindustan Pilkington Glass Ltd. (Hind Pilkington) of Anansol, West Bengal. Singhania purchased the assets for 30 million INR (approximately $621,247 USD) in a high courts auction. 

According to a news wire report, the Ispat Group purchased Hind Pilkington in 1990 as part of liquidation proceedings begun in 1985 for approximately $18,119,694 (USD). The Supreme Court set aside the sale, however, and directed the Calcutta high court to hold a re-auction.

Beta Glass Soars in Nigerian Market
Nigeria-based Beta Glass plc now controls 65 percent of the glass market in its country, according to reports from Africa News. Sir John Ihonor, chairman of the company, said Beta hopes to improve its position even further this year. During 2001, the company, part of the Frigo Glass Group, sold 369,000,000 units of its products to customers throughout Nigeria, according to managing director Stephenus Constantinali.


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