Engineering Polymers - Europe October 2015
|Month: October 2015|
PA6,6, POM, PBT and PMMA prices remained largely unchanged in October while PC prices also stabilized. EPS and SAN offers, on the other hand, faced downward pressure from the €210/ton drop in the October styrene settlements. For PA6, the softening trend lost speed, supported by October benzene contracts, which settled up €1/ton from September.
PC prices stabilized in October following the massive decreases registered in September. The low ends of the ranges were formed by non-dutiable Asian origins offered at €2150-2200/ton while European prices were mostly quoted in the range of €2300-2400/ton. Spot PC prices mostly maintained their levels while minor discounts of €5/ton were reported in a few cases. The PC market was calm earlier in October as some converters took a waiting stance following the sharp decreases in September. However, sellers reported seeing regular demand for most of the month while supply remained short after some producers reduced their operating rates. Players expect PC prices to remain largely unchanged until the end of the year.
PA6 offers were stable to slightly softer at the beginning of October. However, ample supply and weak demand pulled spot prices lower later in the month. A distributor commented that demand was rather good in September owing to price decreases, but added that buying interest slowed down this month. Another distributor reported that PA6 prices posted large decreases of €300/ton over the past few months due to excess caprolactam supply. In the spot market, PA6 players reported stable to slightly softer prices for early October. Later in the month, however, some sellers applied decreases of €30-50/ton from September for a South European origin and discounts of €70-100/ton for some West European origins.
For PA6,6, October prices were mostly unchanged from September, except for slight discounts of €20/ton towards the end of the month in a few cases, led by the large premium of PA 6,6 over PA6. Market sources reported comfortable supply for PA 6 while PA6,6 availability was shorter, but still sufficient to meet demand. In the medium term, PA6 and PA6,6 prices are likely to track a stable to slightly softer trend considering the fact that some converters will keep their low stocks ahead of December. For November, a seller expects benzene contracts to settle with increases of around €20/ton prior to a possible decrease of €20/ton in December. According to the seller, the PA6 and PA6,6 outlook is mostly stable for the remainder of the year. A buyer, on the other side, commented he projects some decreases for PA6,6 in November, citing the wide gap between PA6 and PA6,6 prices.
EPS and SAN prices posted another round of sharp decreases in October. SAN prices declined by €120-150/ton for European origins compared to September. The market was under pressure from the lower styrene settlements and weak sentiment in the Asian market. Import offers from Asia were reported at €1450-1500/ton on a DDP basis for delivery in 45 days. For November, a converter heard from his suppliers that prices for Asian origins might gain ground while European prices could remain stable. However, general expectations are calling for a stable to slightly softer trend for the remainder of the year.
In the contract market, a South European producer announced decreases of €140/ton on their initial EPS prices for October and conceded to further slight discounts in a few cases. However, players reported October EPS deals were concluded mainly with decreases of €160-180/ton both in the spot and contract markets. Some converters faced difficulty in procuring material in the second half of the month, commenting that most European producers had already closed their order books in the first days of October. Sellers reported that price decreases attracted some buying interest in October and EPS prices did not post the entire monomer drop due to shorter supply. In the carpentry sector, some converters reported their end product demand is irregular as it depends on weather conditions and construction sites. For November, players project small decreases for styrene contracts while EPS prices are likely to hover at around the current levels for the remainder of the year.
Spot PMMA prices were mostly stable in October and price inquiries were reportedly regular. In the contract market, PMMA prices were either rolled over or slightly lowered by €10-20/ton for the last quarter of 2015. The PMMA outlook is stable for the medium term.
PBT prices remained stable for another month. Demand was regular and supply was comfortable. POM prices were also stable for European origins, while Asian prices posted rollovers to decreases of €20-30/ton. A distributor commented that his PA6, PC and POM customers recently took a waiting stance and large scale converters who used to buy large quantities once a month divided their purchases to twice a month. The distributor added that injection molders in the automotive sector were concerned about the outlook, but added that the Volkswagen scandal is yet to impact the market. Players do not expect to see major changes on POM and PBT prices for the remainder of the year.
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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