Engineering Polymers - Europe October 2017
|Month: September 2017|
EPS prices posted massive increases of €190-200/ton with respect to August on the heels of September styrene contracts that settled €190/ton higher. The overall ranges indicate increases of €210/ton compared to August as some players reported that a Central Eastern supplier applied increases of €50/ton in late August and additional increases of €190/ton in September. EPS supplies were deemed as limited due to some supply concerns in the region and disrupted transportation from Germany to Italy following the closure of a railway line in South Germany. A buyer noted that a West European supplier has already closed their order books for October as their availability is tight. Meanwhile, Total has resumed production at their styrene plant in Gonfreville, France while they extended force majeure on styrene supplies due to the labor strikes in France and transportation disruptions across Europe. According to the market sources, Synbra has declared a force majeure on its EPS deliveries to Italy and Switzerland as of September 20 for logistics issues stemming from the closure of the rail line in South Germany. As for October, players were anticipating three digit decreases on styrene contracts, which settled down €110/ton late on Friday in line with the expectations. Meanwhile, tight EPS availability might keep the size of October decreases limited.
PA6 prices were stable to €100/ton softer compared to August while PA 6,6 prices remained stable for another month. Tight availability and strong demand supported September PA 6,6 prices. Supply levels were affected by delivery delays stemming from disrupted rail transportation from Germany to Italy and Switzerland along with several plant shutdowns in the US in the wake of Hurricane Harvey. Upstream, October butadiene contracts have been settled €125/ton higher at €900/ton while September caprolactam contracts were settled with rollovers in Europe. Looking ahead, players anticipate some increases in the remainder of the year on the back of tight availability and rising costs. Nevertheless, fading demand towards the year end will be a factor to watch.
PC deals were concluded with rollovers for another month in September, supported by tight availability. Players are still experiencing long lead times ranging between 14 and 24 weeks from European producers, with many distributors receiving their material in 4-5 months after placing orders. A trader noted, “We heard that PC supplies will remain tight in October and we think that prices might reach the €3000/ton threshold in early 2018 given the lack of material.” The October outlook suggests a stable to firmer trend for the last quarter of 2017 on the back of reduced availability and railway disruptions across Europe which exacerbated delivery delays. The railway line is now slated to be fully operational as of October 2, though.
PBT and POM prices were also unchanged from August. Demand has revived a bit after the summer lull. Sellers reported that their availability is regular and balanced with demand. There is good demand especially in the automotive sector. The October outlook is stable.
PMMA prices were notionally stable from last month while quarterly prices were closed with three digit increases from June. Buyers reported that PMMA suppliers are allocating limited volumes and they are not providing extra allocations. Hurricane Harvey in the US and railway disruptions across Europe exacerbated supply concerns. PMMA tightness might push sellers to aim for further increases in the last quarter of the year.
SAN prices were initially up by €160/ton in September, supported by the massive increase in the styrene contracts for September. However, some sellers trimmed down their initial hike requests during the month so that slightly lower levels were obtainable towards the end of the month. Supply-demand dynamics were balanced in the spot market. Bullish expectations for October faded away in the second half of September in line with the downward corrections in the spot styrene market and expectations of seeing three digit decreases on October contracts.
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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