The steep rise in notations for engineering plastics that came to characterise the scene in western Europe in January gathered more momentum last month. At increases of EUR 110/t, "semi-commodity" ABS spearheaded the shift. But the other materials, too, have at last shed the "unchanged" label, which still tended to crop up here and there last month, according to the latest report by Plastics Information Europe (PIE, Bad Homburg / Germany; www.pieweb.com).
Efforts on the part of European producers to push through price hikes are aided by numerous production cutbacks, upheld because of the ongoing uncertainty in the market. Due to lively local demand, imports from Asia are few and far between. Coupled with a weak euro, this helps explains why there already is evidence of the first bottlenecks for some materials.