Engineering Polymers - Europe October 2018
|Month: September 2018|
The EPS market registered fresh price increases in September, albeit in smaller amount than last month, on the back of the higher styrene outcome. Players reported that September EPS deals have been mostly concluded with increases of €40/ton, representing smaller hikes than the styrene upsurge of €65/ton as calm demand kept in check the firmer trend. Overall demand was flimsy both because of the slow end product business in the insulation and packaging sectors and because of the pre-buying activity from converters’ side in August. Plus, import material from Iran emerged again at competitive levels, attracting buyers’ interest. Iranian EPS was reported in a range of €1450-1500/ton DDP. As for October, players anticipate a downturn in the EPS market given their expectations to see decreases of around €50/ton in the next styrene contracts settlement.
PA6 prices have followed a stable to slightly softer trend in September on the heels of rather balanced market fundamentals together with benzene contracts which settled €9/ton lower for September in Europe. Meanwhile, caprolactam contracts settled with rollovers for September on stable conditions in Europe, supporting a mostly stable trend for PA6 prices this month. Small price reductions were visible in a few deals, with a large sized converter commenting, “We have paid decreases of €30/ton in our September deals as our European suppliers felt some sales pressure and they have already talked about possible small price decreases in October given comfortable supply in the region.” As for October, players project a mostly stable trend while a few buyers believe that small price cuts may be achievable in a few deals.
The PA66 market remained mostly stable during September as prices had strongly climbed during the past months while players already anticipate a new round of large price increases in the last quarter of the year given the persistent tightness in the region. A distributor of a European producer reported that his supplier is mulling over hike intentions of around €300/ton for the last three months of 2018. In addition, players reported that many European producers had no allocations to satisfy their regular customers this month and many PA66 buyers shifted to PBT for their production. Plus, many players reported that ADN availability remains short. In the meantime, October butadiene contracts settled stable in Europe; however, the extreme tightness is expected to play a key role in setting the direction of the market, regardless of cost movements.
The PC market turned softer in September due to the easing of supply concerns and the slowdown of demand. A distributor reported to have concluded some deals for South Korean PC at €2550/ton DDP, which stands €350/ton below the low end of the overall local ranges this month. The seller commented, “We applied decreases of €200-300/ton on our offers for South Korean material this month. The PC market is currently under a downward pressure stemming from ample supply amid lower buying interest. We expect further small price cuts in the short and medium term, also for the European origins.” Different players concur that the sentiment may not improve in October and fresh price reductions are likely to pass on October deals.
PBT prices tracked a mostly stable trend in September on the back of the balanced market conditions amid regular demand and comfortable supply. As for October, expectations are mostly calling for a stable outlook; however, a few players don’t rule out the possibility that sellers may try to seek small increases if more PA66 buyers will start replacing PA66 with PBT.
The POM market followed a stable path in September, as largely predicted, given the balanced fundamentals. However, acetal resin supply was said to be still rather short and a distributor commented, “We have offered POM from South Korea with increases of €50-100/ton as the trend is firmer in Asia due to higher feedstock costs.” In the local market, however, prices remained mostly unchanged with respect to August levels and distributors of different European producers reported to have concluded their September deals with rollovers. As for October, players believe that the market may track a stable to slightly firmer direction if supply will dwindle.
PMMA prices have not posted significant changes in September, with distributors of different European producers concluding their September deals with rollovers compared to August. They pointed to the quiet demand amid sufficient supply which hindered any possible hike attempts, after the increases registered in the past few months. However, players believe that producers may try to apply small price hikes in October if demand will pick up.
The SAN market turned firmer in September, following the higher styrene outcome in Europe. Players reported that September deals have been mostly concluded with increases of around €40/ton while a distributor of a South European producer closed most of his September deals with minor hikes, citing his already high quotations with respect to his competitors. Meanwhile, South Korean material was offered at €1730-1740/ton DDP with a buyer refusing the offer due to his slow end product demand and expectations for a softer trend in October in line with the awaited lower styrene outcome.
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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