European Engineering Polymer Grades Update
|Month: July 2015|
For July, European PC prices continued to track an upward trend after massive hike intentions of €400-450/ton were announced in late May. PC prices were mainly quoted within the range of €2400-2600/ton for July. Players commented that a few prices below €2400/ton were still available, but they are expected to disappear soon.
Sellers reported that large hikes in the first half of the year were supported by a good number of price inquiries. In addition, producers were targeting to recover their margins after PC prices hit quite low levels. Supply was shorter than expected amidst delayed start-ups of new capacities. Some producers have also reduced their capacities, with Trinseo shutting their PC plant in Texas. In the distribution market, supply and demand were said to be in balance and PC prices did not register the full extent of hike targets of €400/ton. Regarding Asian PC, prices for non-dutiable origins were in line with European cargoes while offers for dutiable origins were higher. A compounder reported receiving more inquiries for special grades (flame-retardant, reinforced, etc.) compared to standard grades. Demand for PC is regular from Austria and Germany despite a slight reduction in purchasing volumes. Meanwhile, converters in South Europe are postponing their orders to September due to the summer holidays in the region. As a result, players mostly expect to see a stabilization in prices next month.
PA6 and PA 6,6 prices started the month on a firmer note after benzene contract settled €85/ton higher for July. However, initial hike requests did not meet acceptance in the market and sellers revised their offers downward later in the month. For PA 6, supply and demand dynamics were balanced. Sellers reported that July deals have been wrapped up mostly with rollovers from June, while a few sellers conceded to reductions of up to €50/ton in the second half of the month in order to speed up their sales ahead of the holiday lull. For PA 6,6, European producers were initially targeting price hikes of €50-80/ton, pointing to reduced availability from West European and US producers. However, late July levels were mostly unchanged from June as trading activities were slowing down and sellers stepped back from their initial hikes requests. A distributor of PA6 and PA6,6 closed their July deals in the first half of the month and now he is accepting orders for September with an open price as the outlook is still unclear. According to the distributor, August will be a slack month as buyers will restock in September once they return from the holidays. Several compounders reported receiving good inquiries. For August, the benzene contract settled with minor decreases of €13/ton and players project stable prices for PA6 and PA 6,6. In production news, market sources reported Radici Group will shut their 90,000 ton/year nylon 6 and 6,6 plant in Italy for a planned maintenance in August.
Regarding styrenics, SAN prices posted decreases of up to €50-60/ton for July after styrene contracts settled down €85/ton from June. Supply was not ample, but it was adequate to cover demand and deliveries were regular. Demand is weakening from Southern Europe ahead of August and players project stable to slightly softer prices for next month. For EPS, July deals have been closed with decreases of up to €80-85/ton. Demand was good owing to seasonality reasons while trading activities are slowing down ahead of the summer lull. For August, styrene contracts settled down €25/ton from July and EPS prices are not expected to post major changes for August.
PMMA prices tracked a stable trend in July both in the spot and contract markets. Sellers reported that supply was comfortable and demand was regular. The low ends of the range were still formed by locally-held prices from Asia, while European origins stood at the high ends. For August, prices are likely to remain unchanged and some players project a stable outlook until September, excluding major changes for the medium term.
For PBT, prices remained stable for July. The low ends of the ranges were formed by locally held Asian origins, which maintained their competitive edge compared to European prices. No particular issues have been reported regarding supply.
Prices for POM stabilized in July after tracking an upward trend in June. July deals were wrapped up mainly in the first three weeks of the month and trading activities are expected to be thin for August.
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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