Erosion gathers speed / Processors much more insistent about receiving their share of the cost reduction / January benzene contract caves in / All polymer derivatives under pressureAs expected, European engineering thermoplastics prices continued to erode in December, in a process that gathered even further momentum. The pressure from the ongoing decline in upstream prices simply became too great for producers to insist on stability. This was particularly true for benzene derivatives, although prices for the engineering polyester PBT have also started to slip. On the other hand, long-term agreements prevented any major avalanche, affording a protective cushion to producers. As usual, the more commodity-related ABS and PP compounds were much more attuned to the feedstock cost decline. Not immediately dependent on benzene, POM and PMMA again proved to be the exception, as their prices remained stable.