Engineering Polymers - Europe November 2019
|Month: November 2019|
SM drop reflected on EPS market
Following the styrene contract settlement with a decrease of €65/ton for November, the EPS market saw reductions between €40/ton and €65/ton, mostly matching the monomer drop. A South European supplier decided to revise his initial offers down during the month in order to entice his sales, considering comfortable supply versus slow buying sentiment. In particular, buyers in Italy are worried about the proposed tax on plastics which is expected to affect packaging producers starting from June 2020. Moreover, the lack of a near-term outlook weighs on converters’ end-product business, pushing them to purchase on a hand to mouth basis. As for EPS black/grey non-flammable, the overall range was reported down by €40-60/ton from October at €1290-1330/ton FD. Meanwhile, players started to express their expectations about the December outlook. They concur on the fact that the EPS market may see further reductions given the widespread voices of decreases of up to €50-70/ton in the next styrene contract settlement amid the sharp drops reported in spot monomer prices over the month.
PA6 prices decrease on Nov benzene contract drop
In the PA6 market, November deals were closed with reductions of around €50/ton on the heels of the lower outcome of benzene contracts, settled with a three-digit decrease of €150/ton compared to October. As the year-end period is nearing, players reported to have seen some special prices in a few deals given sellers’ aim to entice their sales and deplete their allocations at the same time. Yet, ample supply does not support destocking activities, considering that demand is quite stagnant in this period and buyers prefer to purchase on their needs-only basis, a distributor in Italy commented. Another reseller in Italy added, “Even though buying sentiment is better than in PA66 market, demand is not vivid. Our customers reported a 20-30% decline in their end-product demand over the year.” As for December, players expect to see further drops in the PA6 prices, despite the modest increases seen in spot benzene prices during the month, given lackluster demand in the last month of the year as well as buyers’ target of keeping their stocks at the minimum. A few players also started to question about the 2020 outlook and the initial expectations surfaced in the market are mostly negative, with flat demand versus ample supply awaited for the first quarter of the new year.
PA66 market continues to follow a downtrend
PA66 deals were wrapped up with reductions mostly of €50/ton this month, after the November butadiene contract settled with a small drop of €20/ton, reaching the same level of spot monomer prices. According to the majority of players, the overall decreases reported in the PA66 market this year are due to the decline in the automotive sector. A supplier in Italy noted, “The consumption of PA66 reduced significantly in 2019. Plus, the year-end period is affecting the buying interest, with converters skipping their purchases in order to have limited stocks and for the expectations of further discounts in December.” Moreover, suppliers also aim to deplete their allocations before the end of the year and some special prices surfaced in the market. As for December, players have already voiced their expectations of seeing additional discounts in the PA66 market on the heels of the outcome of the December butadiene contract, which closed with a decrease of €50/ton, and the poor state of demand given the weakness in the leading automotive sector.
PC deals closed at lower prices
PC business followed a softer path this month, with reductions mainly of €30/ton passing on deals despite the strong decrease of €150/ton in the November benzene contract settlement. According to players, prices may have reached the bottom level this month given poor demand amid the plunge in the automotive sector. A distributor of a West European supplier stated, “We saw a 10-15% decrease in the PC market over the year as well as a 40% drop in the automotive sector. Consumption is weak, with buyers purchasing week by week, without planning long-term purchases. We do not expect major changes until the end of the year as PC prices are considerably low now, considering that the current average of PC prices is almost in line with the weekly average price of ABS towards the end of 2018.” Generally, players think that prices may remain on their current levels in December amid the usual calmer demand in this period of the year, while a possible rebound may be seen starting from the beginning of 2020.
PBT prices remain stable on the month
PBT prices remained stable also this month on the back of calm demand given the approaching year-end period. “The stagnancy in the automotive sector did not support the overall buying sentiment”, a distributor of a West European supplier commented. As for December, market participants expect the PBT market to remain unchanged both in terms of prices and demand, considering the lack of bullish factors on one side and the shortness of the month on the other side.
POM deals concluded mostly with rollovers
POM deals were concluded mainly at unchanged levels this month. Only a few sellers reported to have slightly decreased their offers, conceding to special prices in order to entice their sales as well as to deplete their allocations amid the approaching year-end. A distributor of an Asian producer stated, “Our stocks are quite high given rather stagnant demand. Even though prices are low, we expect to see small drops in December amid calmer buying interest.”
PMMA market does not see changes in prices
PMMA business was closed at stable prices in November, with buyers securing limited volumes on their needs-only basis given the flimsy state of demand versus comfortable supply. No major changes are awaited also for December, with a distributor of a West European supplier saying, “Converters are usually in a hurry to secure their volumes in the first weeks of December while we expect a much calmer demand this year.” This is due to the fact that buying sentiment is likely to decrease next month given the limited number of working days especially in Southern Europe, while flat demand is voiced among several players for the beginning of 2020.
SAN business closed softer on lower SM contract
In the SAN market, players reported reductions of €30/ton this month on the heels of the outcome of the November styrene contract, closed with a decrease of €65/ton compared to October. A supplier in Italy commented, “Even though we were open to concede to further discounts during the month, we were able to remain firm on our initial offers given the state of demand, which was more supportive.” Buyers, on their side, secured material on a hand to mouth basis given players’ expectations to see additional reductions in the SAN market during December. This is due to the significant drops reported in spot styrene prices during November, which may lead to decreases of up to €50-70/ton in the next monomer contract 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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