Refwin: How about the situation of refractories industry in Latin America?
Mr. Juan Carlos Calviño: The situation is complicated due to the impact of falling commodity prices, such as oil, copper, steel and raw agricultural commodities on our economies. Some of them have even entered into a period of recession, such as Brazil and Argentina, although falling GDP growth is widespread.
Refwin: What will be the main opportunities and challenges for refractories players in Latin America?
Mr. Juan Carlos Calviño: Opportunities must be pursued on a case-by-case basis and are linked to the performance of the customers, as the situation differs for each of the players within the same market. The challenge is to be able to seek them out in a recessionary environment.
Refwin: How do you see the general trends in the coming years, and what is your strategy to face the increasing competition?
Mr. Juan Carlos Calviño: The general trend is for customers to decrease their costs, so the refractory industry shall have to go along that trend with innovation and increased performance of its products so as to achieve an improved cost/benefit ratio for its customers.It is imperative to work very close to our customers to get a clear view of their needs and visualize which could be the solution to be developed jointly between both parties.
Refwin: What will be the focus of the coming ALAFAR's Congress 2016 and what we can expect from it?
Mr. Juan Carlos Calviño: Actually, following the lines of the previous reasoning, the focus of the ALAFAR Congress this year is ¨Technologies in refractories – Recent developments”, so several of the presented works shall be geared towards innovation and development of proposals not only technically beneficial, but also environment friendly.Speaking of which we expect to welcome a large audience in a truly breathtaking venue such as the LlaoLlao Hotel located in Bariloche, Southern Patagonia, Argentina. There will be a complete social programme for accompanying persons branded with the usual Latin American warmth.
For more information, visit our web page www.alafar.org