Engineering Polymers - Europe November 2016
|Month: November 2016|
PC prices have not registered notable changes in November and have generally followed a stable trend. A buyer commented that PC prices remained unchanged even if there have been hike attempts from European producers. Increases have not found acceptance in the market as demand is low. Meanwhile, prices on the previous high ends have mostly disappeared because they were considered too high. Some players believe that higher prices may emerge in December, as there is a Middle Eastern producer who seems determined to increase its prices. Another buyer observed that that offers from Asia have been very scarce in the last few months due to a growth of demand from China. Consequently, Asian suppliers have less material to direct to export markets. He added that Asian prices are higher compared to European prices. No supply issues have been reported during the month. The majority of players believe prices will gain ground in January and that also demand should pick up by then.
In November, both PA6 and PA6,6 prices have followed a stable path and deals have been closed mostly at rollover from October. November benzene contracts were agreed €6/ton ($7/ton) higher from October at €603/ton ($661/ton) FD NWE. According to market sources, October caprolactam contracts in Europe was announced at €10-15/ton lower, while players expect a rollover on November contract price that has not been settled yet. A buyer reported a producer of caprolactam declared force majeure but supply is ample for this product so there have not been any supply issues. A seller observed some downward adjustments in a few cases, and a buyer stated he was able to obtain special offers for this material, at lower levels compared to the prevalent market levels. Regarding the state of demand, buying interest has not shown signs of improvement, but end product demand is generally good. Supply for PA6 is ample while regular for PA6,6. Players are expecting increases starting from January. The outlook for December is mostly stable but they do not exclude some decreases as some suppliers may try to lower their stocks towards the end of the year.
SAN prices have followed a stable to slightly firmer trend in November for European material, in line with the styrene monomer increase of €40/ton. Deals have been mostly closed from rollover to €20-40/ton higher from the previous month. Trinseo announced increases of €45/ton on SAN prices at the beginning of the month. A seller reported that his South Korean and Taiwanese suppliers were targeting 3-digit increases for new shipments with January delivery because of higher monomer costs in the region and for the increase of styrene demand from Asian markets. The firming trend of styrene costs persists also in Europe, where the new contract for December is awaited with increases of €80-100/ton that could be reflected on new SAN prices. SAN demand has improved after the K fair in October, but players do not expect notable changes till January, and buying interest may see a contraction next month due to the year-end and Christmas holidays. No supply issues have been reported.
EPS prices have followed a bullish trend in November, in line with the styrene monomer hike of €40/ton. Deals have been closed with increases of mainly €30-40/ton, even if at the beginning of the month suppliers were even targeting increases of €50/ton. Supply levels are still comfortable and in general, players did not have problems in finding material, but according to a converter, some buyers reported delivery delays from BASF following the incident at the company’s Ludwigshafen site in October. Demand for end products is good. Styrene spot prices have increased during the month, and the new contract is awaited with €80-100/ton hikes. Players believe that market activity will be calm in December as it will be a short month, and this may contain further increases on new offers going towards the end of the year.
PMMA offers tracked a stable trend for another month in November, after producers have maintained their quarterly prices unchanged for European material for the latter part of the year last month. However, PMMA prices are under pressure from MMA costs, as according to market sources availability is still tight for the monomer and prices have shown new increases, with MMA demand that remains healthy. A seller reported that MMA is still increasing both in Europe and in Far East Asia. He heard that a North European producer is targeting increases for December, for customers without contracts. Supply is comfortable and demand is good, thanks to the growth of PMMA consumption in Europe. Players are now stating that offers will increase in January, when demand is supposed to pick up, as many sellers may concede to special prices to lower their stocks in December.
POM and PBT prices have not registered notable changes in November. According to market players, supply is good while demand is not brilliant for year-end. A seller heard that POM prices under €1300/ton are emerging in the market, as some distributors are reducing their offers to reach sales budget in December, even if this means losing their margins.
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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