Price slide comes to a halt / Some products turn around / Benzene derivatives especially now trending up / Upswing likely to gain momentum in May
The price erosion that beset many European engineering thermoplastics in the first few months of the year came to a halt in April, and in some cases the trend even turned around. The commodity-related ABS was hit broadside by the turbulent rises in the styrene chain, while the impact on PP compounds was relatively modest thanks to the existence of numerous contracts tied to the cost of C3.
The feedstock rises also impacted benzene derivatives PC and PA 6 in April. The latter's increases in fact contributed to the stabilisation of PA 6.6 notations. PBT notations firmed as the price plunge some players had hoped for failed to materialise. POM remained largely stable since the euro's weakness deterred the arrival of imports, which would have stirred things up. In the case of PMMA, minor corrections were made to the increases that stemmed from the MMA bottleneck at the beginning of the year.
The general uptrend in plastics prices will start influencing engineering thermoplastics notations in May. While the ABS front could calm down a little, PP compounds are expected to see steeper rises. PC and PA 6 will probably point up, too, and would likely take PA 6.6 along with them. Both PBT and PMMA are also under pressure, with only POM still rather unaffected by the upswing.