Engineering Polymers - Europe December 2017
|Month: November 2017|
EPS prices posted further decreases in November following €90/ton lower styrene settlements. Limited availability has prevented the entire styrene drop from being reflected on EPS prices, as was the case last month. EPS deals were mostly concluded with relatively smaller decreases of €30-50/ton on average. Buyers agree that EPS availability was tight for November as most European producers were sold out. A converter reported that he ordered some EPS cargoes for December; yet, his suppliers were not able to fulfill his orders entirely. Another buyer noted, “EPS supplies were more regular than October. However, availability remains limited as demand is better than usual in Europe on favorable weather conditions.” As for December, players anticipate increases of around €50/ton on EPS prices due to the fact that December is a short month and styrene contracts are awaited higher following an initial benzene contract that settled €145/ton higher. According to the players, December styrene contracts may post increases between €50/ton and €90/ton. The main reason behind the bullish expectations is higher spot styrene prices and upcoming maintenance shutdowns on styrene units by the first quarter of 2018 at major suppliers across Europe including Repsol, Total and BASF.
As for PA6 and PA 6,6, European producers started November on a firmer note. Lanxess officially raised his November prices by €250/ton for PA6 and €150/ton for PA 6,6, according to a press release from the company. Another West European producer, meanwhile, announced increases of €300/ton on both PA6 and PA 6,6 while a different producer also issued increases of €250/ton on their PA 6,6 prices. Hike attempts stemmed from dwindling supplies and firmer costs; however, players reported that spot PA6 market remained mostly flat due to the fact that availability for this product was more ample compared to PA6,6 and some distributors were willing to destock ahead of the year-end. A buyer reported that he purchased PA 6 with a modest increase of €20-30/ton, though. “PA 6 supplies have become tighter recently and November deliveries from our European suppliers were problematic as well . We heard that Chinese producers have reduced their PA production by 30% and this is affecting global markets,” noted a player. Spot PA 6,6 prices, meanwhile, posted increases of €50-100/ton in November due to availability issues and the lack of adipic acid. According to the sellers, demand was good for November, especially from the automotive sector. As for December-January, players anticipate three digit increases on PA6 and PA6,6, considering long delivery times for PA6,6 and supply concerns which are likely to persist in the Q1 2018.
PC prices posted further increases of around €50-100/ton in November. Delivery delays from European producers persisted and buyers had to pay increases since they were facing difficulties to find prompt material. In the import market, PC prices have hit the €3000/ton threshold for dutiable origins. A trader commented that PC availability from their Japanese supplier is comfortable; yet, their prices are not attractive for buyers due to the custom duty. Players think that PC prices will not post major changes in December as it will be a short month in terms of working days. However, supply concerns are likely to persist in the first quarter of 2018. Sellers anticipate further increases of up to €150-200/ton in the Q1.
Players reported that PBT prices were mostly stable in November as firmer costs did not affect the market. According to a statement on the company’s website, Lanxess officially announced increases of €200/ton on their PBT compound prices in late November. This announcement may exert upward pressure on December prices; however, players are questioning whether the market will absorb the entire hike attempt in December as it is a short month .
POM prices were stable to €20-30/ton higher in November. A seller cited the lack of imports as one of the reasons behind the slight increases. Increases were not accepted as buyers prefer to keep low stocks ahead of the year-end and POM demand started to slow down in late November. As for December, players anticipate a stable to slightly firmer trend.
Globally tight PMMA and MMA availability encouraged sellers to increase their November prices for prompt PMMA cargoes. November spot offers posted three digit increases compared to October. According to a press release from the company, Evonik officially announced increases of €250/ton on their PMMA molding compounds to Europe, effective as of November 1, 2017. Some players are worried about long delivery times which reached 20 weeks for some origins and they may exacerbate supply issues in early 2018. In the import market, traders noted that PMMA prices have already hit the €3000/ton threshold; still,buyers prefer to source from the local market. As for December, PMMA prices are likely to follow a stable to firmer trend.
In the SAN market, prices posted decreases of €50-70/ton for European origins on the heels of lower styrene settlement for November. Taiwanese and South Korean origins, meanwhile, lost competitiveness on the back of rising costs in Asia. Players think that SAN prices hit the bottom in November as styrene costs suggest a reversal trend for December. Players’ expectations for December styrene contracts call for increases between €50/ton and €90/ton due to the spot styrene gains as well as upcoming maintenance shutdowns at styrene units in the first quarter of 2018.
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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