Calm predominates in the holiday month / Imports remain subdued / Benzene´s dive generates lively discussion / Buyers will want a sizeable share of the reduction / Tough negotiations at the end of Q3
The story of engineering thermoplastics in Europe in August 2015 is quickly told. With the traditional grades, nothing very much happened at all during the calm holiday month, but ABS lost ground because of the falling feedstock prices, as indeed did the PP compounds. The only products to see further increases were the highly specific grades of POM.
The switching-off of some assembly lines by the major car manufacturers reduced ordering activity across the entire breadth of the market. On the whole, imports remained very subdued, due partly to the protective duties and partly to the fact that the incentive for Asian suppliers is simply too small at the moment for them to embark on extensive sales activities. As a result, European producers were generally able to keep a firm grip on their continental market.
September, however, will see plenty of discussion even if only in preparation for the new quarter. Aromatics are on the move and benzene, as the key product in this world, plummeted by EUR 260/t, losing a third of its value. Nevertheless, it is debatable whether producers will pass on the cost reductions in September on a broad front. Some buyers should nevertheless be able to obtain at least partial success.