Engineering Polymers - Europe December 2016
|Month: December 2016
PC prices have followed a stable to firmer trend in December, especially in the latter part of the month following the increases in feedstocks costs. Price range for PC has been reported at €2100-2350/ton stable to €50-150/ton higher, especially on the low ends. A seller reported that his NWE supplier increased his PC offers by €100/ton exceeding the €2400/ton threshold. However, this level was not accepted as it was considered to be too high compared to the other origins. According to market sources, another NWE producer increased its PC prices by around €100-150/ton. Players generally affirmed that suppliers were aiming higher prices but it is hard to achieve such hikes in Europe, where supply levels are ample and demand is not supportive. The market outlook for January is bullish.
In December, PA6 and PA6,6 prices were announced at a rollover at the beginning of the month but suppliers have later tried to achieve some increases due to higher feedstocks costs. December benzene contracts was settled at €631/ton ($673/ton) FD NWE, up €28/ton from November. According to market sources, initial December caprolactam contracts have been announced at €28-35/ton higher from November, following the increases of the monthly benzene contract settlements. Players have in general reported that offers were initially announced at a rollover but suppliers have then tried to apply hikes following higher costs due to the gains in crude oil prices and feedstocks costs after the decision of OPEC countries to freeze output starting from January. However, some players have lamented that these hikes are mostly speculative and noted that only a few buyers paid higher prices. A distributor reported increases of €30/ton on PA6 prices on higher upstream costs. He added that buying interest for cargoes from the US is low due to the high exchange rate of the USD. A NWE seller increased PA6,6 prices by €100/ton for the standard grades and by €60/ton for the special grades. On the other hand, a different seller reported some discounts thanks to the destocking activity of some suppliers. Converters have observed that they have difficulties in reflecting hikes on end product prices and clients show resistance to higher levels. Demand is in general reported to be good. Supply is not as ample as before. Expectations for January are calling for increases of €150-200/ton, mainly because of rallying benzene costs.
SAN prices have followed a bullish trend in December for European material in line with the strong increases of €170/ton on the styrene monomer contracts due to the tight availability. Deals have been closed mostly with hikes of €80-100/ton, similarly to ABS. A seller reported that list prices for this product are higher compared to offer levels available in the markets. Monomer prices in Asia are higher with respect to Europe. Availability from Far East Asia is short. A seller believes in Asia there may be a correction at the end of next month with the Chinese New Year holidays. In the meantime, new hikes are likely to emerge at the beginning of January. Supply levels are regular and demand is contracting towards the year-end. The Outlook is bullish for next month as the new styrene contracts are awaited with new increases.
EPS prices have registered new hikes in December in line with the styrene monomer increase of €170/ton that surprised players. Offers have emerged with increases of €150/ton at the beginning of the month, while hikes have later been revised down to €120-130/ton. A buyer stated that prices in the US and Europe are not balanced and he believes that these hikes are an attempt to realign the two styrene markets, in addition to short supply. Another buyer said he will buy only according to his needs starting from January as prices are too high and he is struggling to reflect these hikes on his end products. A different converter has obtained increases of €100/ton from his regular supplier after negotiations. Supply is regular. Demand for end products is generally quite good but it is diminishing due to the year-end. Styrene spot prices have increased during the month, and the new contracts are awaited with further €50-80/ton hikes. Activity will be calm in the first week of the month but will grow later on, as styrene availability remains short and because new hikes are awaited.
PMMA offers tracked a stable trend for another month in December, after producers have maintained their quarterly prices unchanged for European material for the latter part of the year. However, PMMA prices are still under pressure from MMA costs, as according to market sources availability is still tight for the monomer and prices have registered new increases, with MMA demand that remains healthy both in Europe and Asia. A distributor stated that prices are higher in Far East Asia with respect to Europe for the first time. Another seller reported that they will increase their new quarterly prices by €100/ton in January. Supply for PMMA is regular but demand has slowed down this month, even if it is expected to pick up in January. Outlook is bullish.
POM and PBT prices have not registered notable changes in December. According to market players, supply is good while demand is not brilliant for the year-end. A seller heard that POM prices at or under €1300/ton threshold are no longer available in the market. Regarding PBT, a buyer reported that big-scale consumers have obtained some notable discounts this month.
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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