European Engineering Polymer Grades Update
|Month: August 2015|
Prices for engineering polymers held mostly steady in August, except for styrenics and PA 6 which posted slight decreases, according to players in the region. Most deals were closed earlier in the month and buyers purchased limited volumes due to the summer lull and weak expectations for certain products for September.
The upward trend in the PC market came to an end in August as prices stabilized in line with expectations following the sharp hikes that passed in the first half of the year. Some distributors rolled over their PC prices from July, pointing to weak market conditions during the summer holidays. Converters also reported observing a stable trend in August, citing benzene contracts, which settled down merely €13/ton. For September, buyers are hoping for some price relief considering the fact that producers’ margins have improved compared to early 2015. In addition, spot benzene prices have slumped over $250/ton from early August levels. In production news, SABIC will reportedly shut their PC plant for 75 days for a planned turnaround as of October.
PA6 prices were stable to €30-50/ton softer for August while offers for PA 6,6 didn’t post major changes due to shorter availability for this product. Some converters postponed their orders after receiving a limited number of end products enquiries for August and PA 6,6 supply is expected to improve in September. According to players, supply and demand dynamics will be more balanced next month. Meanwhile, spot benzene prices are suggesting large drops compared to early August, exerting downward pressure on September PA6 and PA6,6 prices.
EPS and SAN prices posted slight decreases in August after styrene contracts settled down €25/ton from July. Decreases of €20/ton passed on some EPS deals. Earlier in the month, players had been considering the possibility of increases for SAN and EPS, citing concerns about reduced styrene availability due to a number of planned maintenance shutdowns. However, spot benzene and styrene prices registered sharp decreases during the month, pulled down by lower crude oil costs and weaker Asian styrene markets. As a result, players later changed their expectations to a softer trend.
PMMA prices tracked a mostly stable trend in August both in the spot and contract markets. Even though a few converters expressed softer expectations for the last quarter of 2015 due to the recent losses in monomer costs, PMMA offers are likely to remain unchanged in the short term.
PBT and POM prices also remained stable in August and no major changes are expected for the upcoming month. Inquiries for these products remained thin for August due to the summer holidays and more prices are likely to emerge as of September.
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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