Engineering Polymers - Europe August 2017
|Month: July 2017
EPS prices posted further increases between €20/ton and €50/ton in July after styrene contracts settled up €27.5/ton from June. Buyers noted that European producers tracked divergent pricing policies. Indeed, they paid increases of €20-30/ton while some producers with tighter availability raised their prices by €40-50/ton. EPS supply remained limited for some origins; yet, the overall availability was sufficient to cover the market needs. As for August, players anticipate a softer outcome of the styrene contracts while EPS prices are awaited with rollovers to slight decreases amidst limited supplies and weaker activity in August.
PA6 prices posted notable decreases of €50-100/ton in July. Sellers blamed ample supplies as the main reason behind their price cuts. On the other hand, PA 6,6 prices remained stable on the month as the dramatic fall of €400/ton on July butadiene contracts was counterbalanced by limited availability for this product. Players reported that demand for PA6 and PA6,6 was satisfactory, especially from the automotive sector. The August outlook, meanwhile, is stable as trading activity will slow down and companies will be mostly suspending their production for 2-3 weeks during the holiday period. Upstream, players reported decreases of around €50-100/ton on caprolactam prices for July while August butadiene contracts have been settled €75/ton lower at €750/ton FD NWE.
PC prices have stabilized in July, although local supplies remained limited. Demand has been satisfactory while sellers expect to see a quiet activity in August due to the holiday season. Players continued to lament about long delivery times from European sources while locally held-prices for South Korean material were reported in line with European origins at €2500-2550/ton FD. Some traders complained that locally held material lost its competitiveness against European cargoes. As for August, players expect rollovers on PC prices amidst limited activity. Meanwhile, the outlook for September is still uncertain as buyers will get back to the market to purchase after holidays.
PBT and POM prices remained unchanged for another month in July. A trader noticed that POM supply has improved recently as more import materials are available nowadays. Some converters have purchased POM and PBT to meet their needs before holidays while others have already ordered some volumes for September. The outlook for August is stable for both products.
PMMA market opened the month of July with three digit increases. The main reason behind the firmer trend was tight availability for both PMMA and MMA. Players said that PMMA producers are providing only limited volumes to their customers and they don’t have extra volumes to allocate them in case of a boost in end demand. Some sellers commented that PMMA shortage is likely to persist until September and October and imports are limited from Asia. In the import market, Japanese PMMA was dealt at €2550/ton DDP, up €200/ton from the previous month while prices for Taiwanese material have been reported at €1700/ton DDP Italy, 6.5% custom duty, 60 days. A seller reported that a South European producer applied three digit increases for the third quarter. He said that his customers had to purchase at these levels due to the lack of prompt material as PMMA availability is 20% lower compared to the global consumption. Distributors received new inquiries for spot material in July, but they gave priority to their regular customers as they sold out their cargoes for July. Furthermore, PC does not offer a competitive edge in this period as availability is also tight for this product. PMMA prices should hover around the current levels until September while some players think that further increases might not be workable for the Q4.
SAN prices tracked a stable to €10/ton higher trend in July. Some sellers reported that slowing demand ahead of the holiday lull offset higher styrene contracts and their initial hike attempts did not find acceptance from buyers. A distributor said that his Taiwanese supplier applied increases on their July prices as they see better demand in China and they are focusing on the Asian market. The outlook for August is mostly stable amidst expectations of a slowdown in demand and lower styrene settlements.
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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