Engineering Polymers - Europe May 2017
|Month: May 2017|
EPS prices posted another round of massive decreases of around €200-220/ton in May following the plunge in the styrene contracts. However, many players reported that European producers did not reflect the entire monomer drop of €245/ton on their May PS prices. Most converters replenished their stocks this month as they kept low inventories in April ahead of the softer expectations for May. Accordingly, EPS supplies tightened following improving demand in May. As for June, players are questioning whether EPS prices have reached the bottom or not as volatile global spot styrene markets have posted some increases since mid-May, which leads to expectations to see a shifting sentiment for the coming month. Indeed, the most recent expectations for the awaited styrene contracts are calling for a rollover or increases of up to €50/ton and PS prices are expected to hover around current levels after many months of sharp variations.
PA6 and PA6,6 prices have mostly stabilized in May following massive increases in the previous months. Some increases of up to €50/ton have been reported in early May supported by higher caprolactam costs; however, May deals were mostly closed at stable levels. Supply for PA6 was said to be slightly improving, while PA6,6 availability was still tight, with some buyers facing difficulties in procuring material. As for June, most players anticipate that PA6 and PA6,6 are likely to hover around current levels, while a few sellers think that prices could post slight increases on supply concerns and higher caprolactam costs.
PC prices continued to track a stable to firmer trend in May amidst limited supplies while spot deals were mostly concluded at rollovers. Players noted that PC supplies in Europe are rather tight and this shortage is likely to persist until the end of the summer, supporting a stable to firmer trend until August-September period. Some traders who are offering Taiwanese and Korean material reported that they received more price inquiries from new customers in this period as European sources’ availability is limited and they could fulfill their orders only partially. However, they are struggling to sell as import prices are still considered too high to be accepted on the buyers’ side. Asian producers also have limited PC availability, which resulted in delivery delays and a reduction in import volumes coming into Europe. For this reason, players think that PC prices are not likely to change direction in the near term given tight margins and short supplies on the producers’ side, while the June outlook is expected to be mostly stable.
PBT prices were stable for another month amidst the lack of competitive imports. Supply levels were said to be comfortable and demand was regular. No major changes are expected for the month of June.
Meanwhile, POM prices have stabilized in the last two months after tracking three digit increases in the Q1. Supply for European origins was a bit shorter due to the absence of attractive imports from Asia.
Spot PMMA prices were mostly steady from last month, while quarterly prices continued to show three digit increases compared to the Q1. Some buyers noted that PMMA supplies are still rather short and they secured allocations less than they ordered. A trader of Taiwanese material noted that PMMA prices are under pressure from tight supplies and confirmed that some customers run out of their stocks. PMMA delivery times are longer now as there are limited imports from Asia. Another reason behind this shortage is that MMA tightened following the force majeure declared by Lucite and Evonik. Players anticipate a stable to firmer outlook, supported by limited availability.
SAN prices posted another round of three digit decreases of about €100-150/ton for May. Sellers reported that SAN supply was comfortable in May. Meanwhile, demand was good this month as lower prices attracted buying interest of those who kept low stocks in April in the anticipation of further decreases in May. As for June, players anticipate a mostly steady outlook.
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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