11/05/2016

PIE - Polymer Price Reports

Engineering Thermoplastics April 2016

Notations stabilise, as expected / Initial hikes for PC / Decline for polyamides and erosion in PBT and POM comes to an end / Upward trend in May

As expected the situation on the European engineering thermoplastics market largely stabilised in April 2016. Notations for the more commodity-related materials ABS and PP compounds rose, following the uptrend in the respective chains. There were also initial signs of an uptrend for PC, where the quarterly contracts are setting the pace. Following a period of weakness, polyamide prices stabilised, but have yet to make a turnaround. PBT and POM notations also firmed. As before, it was mostly smooth sailing for PMMA.

The oversupply that had come to characterise several market segments in the preceding months increasingly dissipated. In the case of polyamide, this was largely due to producers' iron-clad discipline with respect to their output. As for PC and PMMA, export volumes thinned out supply, while POM imports also started to decline.

The general trend for May is pointing up, with both PC and PA 6 notations expected to rise. The price of the other traditional engineering materials will likely firm, with the occasional increase here or there. From a more long-term perspective, a general uptrend will likely set in by H2 at the latest. By contrast, the drive for ABS has weakened significantly, mostly as a result of the latest rollover in the monthly styrene contract. There could be further structural adjustments for PP compounds, although here, too, the cost pressure has eased considerably.

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