PIE - Polymerprice Reports

Engineering Thermoplastics May 2015

Benzene-dependent materials continue to rise / Otherwise stability prevails / PMMA sees minor corrections / Benzene uptrend reverses suddenly / C3 increase continues to have an effect

In May, notations for the two benzene-driven products, PC and PA 6, continued to rise as the increases in both April and May's price for the aromatic continued to reverberate. Commodity-related ABS and PP compounds also increased again. By contrast, the price of PA 6.6, PBT and POM remained largely stable. PMMA notations were corrected slightly downward following the over-inflated price level seen during the recent period of MMA shortage.

The dramatic situation in the standard segment has started to impact availability of PP compounds, where the first signs of a shortage are starting to appear. In addition, independent compounders' margins are increasingly coming under pressure. By now, standard notations have already reached the level of the more basic compounds. There are also reports of bottlenecks for basic PA 6 polymers. Aside from that, the other grades covered in this report are not expected to see any significant problems.

June's benzene contract performed a sudden turnaround, falling by a massive EUR 111/t. This is bad news for the campaigns being launched ahead of the upcoming quarterly agreements, especially for suppliers of PC and PA 6, since it robs them of an important argument in favour of hikes. The steady rises in the C3 chain, on the other hand, are pressuring PMMA. Aside from the occasional scuffle, the situation for all other materials is relatively calm.

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