European Engineering Polymers Update
|Month: July 2016|
PC prices followed a mostly stable trend in July for European material whereas Asian offers registered some reductions. A compounder reported receiving lower offers from his Asian suppliers and built some stocks to be covered until September. Another buyer confirmed hearing about decreases of €50-100/ton for Asian origins. Supply is good and demand is regular, but it is expected to slow down due to the summer holidays. No major changes are awaited for August as trading activities will be limited.
PA6 and PA6,6 prices followed different paths in July. PA6 offers were unchanged from June and deals were closed with rollovers. For PA6,6 prices, on the other hand, some hikes attempts were reported in some cases before deals were concluded with rollovers from June. July benzene contracts settled with an increase of €13/ton from June at €585/ton. Caprolactam contracts in Europe were announced at rollovers to decreases of 15/ton. Market players reported that contracts started to be settled with rollovers later in the month. A buyer commented, “We received a good number of order this month on the back of improved demand. However, we are unsure about the outlook for August when trading activities are usually calm.” A distributor in Italy reported price increases of around €100/ton on PA6,6 prices due to a reduction of supply levels following a shutdown at a French producer that lead to a feedstock shortage. On the other side, another seller received a very competitive offer from a South Korean supplier for PA6,6. The most recent PA6,6 prices are currently reported in a range of €1900-2200/ton and higher prices are no longer available in the market. Demand is good for both products. Supply is still ample for PA6 while it’s dwindling for PA6,6. No major changes are awaited for PA6 prices in August, but some players do not exclude the possibility of slight increases for PA6,6. Demand is expected to slow down as the majority of players will be absent from the market.
SAN prices mostly tracked a stable to softer trend in July. Players reported decreases between €50-100/ton on deals for European material after styrene contracts settled down €125/ton from June. Meanwhile, increases of around €20-30/ton were reported for Asian material by Taiwanese and South Korean suppliers. The increases observed for Asian material were triggered by higher styrene costs and tight monomer availability in the region because of some planned maintenance shutdowns. Demand is not strong due to the summer lull. No availability issues were reported for European material. Regarding August, a mostly stable trend is awaited considering that trading activities are usually limited as many players are absent from the market for the summer holidays. However, some buyers still don’t exclude the possibility of further small reductions from European suppliers depending on the awaited August styrene contract settlement. Asian suppliers, on the other hand, might apply new increases in August and September, according to players.
EPS prices have registered decreases of mostly €100-110/ton from June. At the beginning of the month, buyers reported smaller discounts of around €80-90/ton as suppliers were unwilling to reflect the entire styrene drop of €125/ton to their prices. However, they conceded to further reductions afterwards. According to players, suppliers who left their prices unchanged in June applied smaller discounts while those who raised their prices last month gave larger reductions. Demand is not strong despite the high season in July and it’s slower with respect to the same period of last year. Supply is sufficient and no availability issues were reported. Regarding August, prices might follow a stable to softer trend as demand is unlikely to improve due to the holidays. Players expect to see decreases of around €20-30/ton next month, but styrene contracts will set the tone of the market.
PMMA prices tracked a stable trend for another month in July and producers mostly left their quarterly prices unchanged from Q2 for European material. However, players commented that MMA monomer costs are still increasing on a global scale owing to good demand and tightening supply, adding that this could pave the way for hikes attempts for European PMMA prices in the following months. A buyer stated that he received quite competitive offers from a Far East Asian supplier. Players reported increases of €20-30/ton for Asian material. Availability is comfortable. Demand is good particularly from the automotive sector and it is expected to pick up in September following a slowdown in August due to the summer lull. The outlook is steady for the upcoming month.
POM and PBT prices didn’t register any notable changes in July. A distributor in Italy stated that some suppliers tried to increase POM prices without any success. Supply is good and demand is regular, but it is expect to slow down in August due to the holidays. The outlook is mostly stable for August.
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