Engineering Polymers - Europe August 2018
|Month: August 2018|
The EPS market turned firmer in August following styrene contracts that settled €20/ton higher, defying the €52/ton lower benzene outcome in Europe for August. August EPS deals were concluded with increases of €10-20/ton, mostly matching the styrene contract upsurge. Activities were thin during August given the long summer lull; however, a few converters decided to build some stocks on the back of the widespread expectations of a new round of more significant hikes in September. Players generally expect increases between €50/ton and €100/ton in the next styrene contracts settlement.
PA6 prices have followed a stable trend in August, disregarding the August benzene contract that settled with decreases of €52/ton in Europe. The main reason behind the stable track is the unchanged market fundamentals amidst thin demand and sufficient supply. Players widely expect that the stable trend will be extended into September. A major European producer commented, “August has been a slack month due to the long summer holidays in the region. Therefore, we decided to keep stable levels and we don’t expect significant price changes in September.”
The PA66 market did not post any change in August as the thin activities during the summer holidays period together with the stable butadiene outcome for August have hampered possible price hikes, overshadowing the persistent tightness in the market. However, the bullish trend is widely expected to surface again in the PA66 market in September, with some sellers already anticipating hike targets of €100-200/ton on September prices. A distributor of a West European producer commented, “We have already received price indications from our supplier who is targeting increases of €200/ton on his September price as the tightness of supply is not registering any relief yet.” Meanwhile, a South European producer reported to have recently restarted its production following a shutdown for maintenance in August; yet, its supply remains tight. In the meantime, September butadiene contracts settled €50/ton higher in Europe and this may give an upper hand to sellers in seeking price increases next month.
The PC market preserved its stable trend in August amid thin trading activities during the long summer break. However, small decreases of €50/ton were also visible in the low end of the range in a few cases. A distributor of a West European producer commented, “Our supplier decided to reduce his August prices, in an attempt to boost his sales, given the slowdown of demand.” As for September, players don’t expect major changes, as supply has slightly improved while demand is expected to revive next month.
PBT prices didn’t post relevant changes in August as a limited number of deals were concluded with rollovers. Players have not reported any supply concerns and demand was almost absent during the summer lull. Market dynamics are not expected to change next month; therefore, expectations are mostly calling for a stable trend in September prices.
The POM market followed a stable path in August, as largely predicted, as the slow trading activities put a cap on the firming trend given the long summer lull. Increases may surface in the market again in September, with a distributor offering South Korean material commenting, “Our overseas supplier has already revealed his September prices at a new threshold of €2000/ton, indicating increases of €50-100/ton compared to our stable August prices.” Supply constraints are still considered the main reason behind fresh price hikes for next month.
PMMA prices have not posted any changes in August and players reported only a limited number of done deals as most buyers stepped out of the market for 2 or 3 weeks for the summer holidays. As for September, players don’t exclude the possibility that sellers will try to seek some increases if demand will gain speed.
The SAN market followed a stable trend in August, despite the small increase of €20/ton of the styrene contract in Europe. In the Netherlands, a compounder commented, “Sellers were not able to reflect the styrene upsurge on their SAN prices this month as SAN supply is considered to be sufficient in the market. As for September, instead, SAN prices may turn firmer given the expectations of increases of €50-70/ton in the next styrene contracts settlement.”
Price ranges reported include an average freight cost to the customers’ location as well as duties if applicable, although VAT is not included.
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