Engineering Polymers - Europe January 2017
|Month: January 2017|
EPS prices tracked another round of notable increases in January, supported by rising costs. Buyers accepted to pay higher prices on firmer styrene, with increases of €80-110/ton from December. PS demand was satisfactory in January as some converters purchased extra volumes to prevent further hikes in February. Market sources reported that a European producer closed their January order books in the second half of the month. February expectations are calling for further increases of at least €50-60/ton on EPS and increases of up to €150/ton on the styrene contracts.
PA6 and PA 6,6 prices started 2017 on a firmer note, supported by higher upstream markets in January. PA6 players reported massive increases between €150/ton and €250/ton on their January deals, especially in the second half of the month. Players reported a few PA6 deals below €1750/ton in the first days of January, but such levels faded away in the second half of January on rising costs. PA6,6 prices also tracked notable increases of €100-200/ton and prices below €2250/ton disappeared in late January due to the same reasons. Buyers have been cautious with their purchases, although they were conscious about rising upstream costs. Most of them have been forced to purchase in January after closing 2016 with low stocks. Sellers anticipate another round of three digit increases on February benzene contracts while butadiene settled up €460/ton from January. Meanwhile, caprolactam contracts have been reported up €210-250/ton for January. Players anticipate further increases of €150/ton on PA6 in February while PA6,6 could post even larger hikes of €200/ton to keep up with rising PA 6 prices.
Major PC producers announced increases of up to €220/ton in January following benzene contract settlements which were agreed up €175/ton. Players think that such increases will be absorbed by the market during the first quarter of 2017, citing improved demand and dwindling supplies at some producers. Spot PC prices posted €50-80/ton increases in January on higher costs. A distributor reported that his West European supplier may have some shortness in the coming months as they delayed their PC delivery time. The seller noted that shorter supply may attract demand and prices could post further hikes in February. February expectations are calling for further increases, considering that spot benzene prices posted notable hikes of around $240-245/ton from early January.
SAN prices tracked another round of increases in January. European origins rose by €50/ton in the spot market while larger hikes of €80/ton were also obtainable in a few cases. Meanwhile, Asian material posted even larger increases of up to €100/ton, supported by tight availability and rising costs. Players reported they are seeing less imports into Europe, citing that South Korean suppliers have better netbacks to China. Distributors noted that players are shocked by new prices from Asia, which are considered to be too high. Accordingly, buying interest turned to the local material. Locally-held Taiwanese offers were reported at 1900€/ton on FD Italy, 60 days payment basis, subject to 6.5% customs duty for January. February expectations are calling for further increases as both styrene and benzene contracts are likely to settle with additional three digit increases.
PBT prices have been steady for another month. Demand was muted in the first days of the month due to the holiday lull. However, purchasing activity improved in the second part of the month as buyers started 2017 with low inventories and they came back to the market to restock .
POM prices were flat for another month in January despite some rumors of increases. Prices below €1350/ton faded from the market in line with reduced imports into Europe. Players reported that some suppliers implemented increases of €50/ton for January citing rising costs. However, January was a shorter month in terms of working days and most distributors have allocated their unsold December cargoes at stable levels. For this reason, players think that price hikes will be only seen on February deals.
PMMA prices tracked notable increases of €100-150/ton in January, supported by rising costs. Prices below €2200/ton disappeared from the market. Players reported that MMA contract for January has been settled up €150/ton in Europe. Sellers cited a globally tight MMA monomer and rubber supply as reasons behind the upward trend. Spot deals for European material were reported at €2200-2400/ton, with increases of €100/ton from December. Meanwhile, import prices posted larger hikes of at least €150/ton, reaching European levels. A distributor reported that locally-held prices are at €2200-2400/ton FD Italy for South Korean material and at €2400/ton FD Italy for Taiwanese material, subject to 6.5% custom duty. In the quarterly contract market, prices from European suppliers increased by €150/ton compared to the last quarter of 2016. Players noted that monomer shortage is supporting an upward trend for the first quarter, which may persist even after.
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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