Engineering Polymers - Europe October 2017
|Month: October 2017|
EPS prices have changed direction in October after registering massive hikes in September. October styrene contracts were settled down €110/ton; still, three digit decreases were not reflected on EPS prices, as it was the case for GPPS and HIPS. European producers adopted different pricing strategies this month as EPS availability diminished. EPS deals were mostly concluded with rollover to slight decreases of €20/ton. Some buyers had to contact different suppliers to find prompt material as some distributors were already sold out. EPS tightness across Europe supported some producers to ask for rollovers or small decreases of €20/ton for October, although lower prices were obtainable in a few cases. Meanwhile, Synbra lifted the force majeure on EPS deliveries to Italy and Switzerland after the rail line in Southern Germany was reopened in early October. Some buyers confirmed that logistics issues from Germany have been completely solved as of mid-October and this could ease the pressure on EPS availability in the near term. An insulation maker noted that their end product demand has been rather good since late August as favorable weather conditions boosted demand in the carpentry sector. On the other hand, construction works usually slow down in winter and their end demand will fade in line with the low season. November expectations call for another round of decreases in the styrene contracts. However, some buyers are worried that European producers may not reflect the entire monomer drop on their EPS prices with the support from their limited availability, as it was the case this month.
PA6 prices were mostly steady in October. Buyers reported that slight discounts of €20/ton were obtainable in a few cases after negotiations. Availability for this product improved as of mid-October after logistic issues stemming from the rail line disruptions in Europe were completely solved. PA 6,6 prices, meanwhile, remained at September levels, supported by relatively tighter supplies for this product. Sellers noted that the lack of adipic acid and logistics problems across Europe exacerbated supply issues. As for November, PA 6 outlook is more stable while PA 6,6 prices are awaited with rollovers to some increases. A distributor reported that his PA 6,6 supplier has sent a letter to his customers to inform them that they are targeting increases of €250/ton on some PA 6,6 grades as of November 1. Upstream, November butadiene contracts settled €100/ton lower at €800/ton while October caprolactam contracts settled with rollovers to small increases of €15/ton.
PC deals were concluded with rollovers to €50/ton hikes this month. Players continued to complain about long lead times from European producers in October and reported that they are receiving their cargoes months after placing orders. Sellers notice an increase in orders from new customers given supply limitations, but they prefer to give allocations to their regular customers first. Traders noted that demand for this product is healthy, but they think that higher demand is mainly stemming from tighter supplies. They argued, “Buyers are not willing to pay higher prices for prompt material even though they are making inquiries. Non-European origins are mostly absent from the market as some producers are diverting their cargoes to Asia, where prices are higher and they have better netbacks. Import offers fail to attract buying interest as they are even higher than European material, especially for dutiable origins, prices for which reached €3100-3200/ton on DDP Italy basis.” In the near term, players think that PC prices are likely to follow a stable to firmer trend.
PBT and POM prices were stable for another month in October. Supply and demand dynamics were rather balanced. Players think that PBT prices will continue remain stable for the remainder of the year. Meanwhile, expectations call for a stable to firmer trend in the POM market for November. A distributor reported that his West European supplier has already issued slight increases of €20-25/ton on November prices .
PMMA prices tracked a stable to firmer trend in October. Prices indicate rollovers to some increases depending on the extent of tightness on grades on a quarterly basis. Lucite’s force majeure is still in place and players said that overall availability for PMMA and MMA is tight in the market. As for the PC market, traders affirmed that buyers mostly prefer to source from the local market given long delivery times and tight availability. Moreover, import prices in Italy are even higher than European material, reaching the €3000/ton threshold for Korean and Taiwanese origins when all applicable costs are added. Considering these factors, PMMA prices are likely to sustain a stable to firmer trend in the short term.
Following the €110/ton lower October styrene settlements , SAN prices changed direction, erasing part of their September gains. Accordingly, most deals were closed down €50-70/ton compared to September. Sellers noted that SAN demand slowed down in the second half of the month in line with the softer expectations for November. Looking ahead, SAN prices are likely to post further decreases in November, assuming that styrene contracts for next month will post another round of decreases.
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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