06/07/2017

PIE - Polymer Price Reports

Engineering Thermoplastics May 2017

Rollover predominates / Tight supply situation still exists with PC, POM and PMMA / Potential upward trend even before start of Q3 / Demand expected to slow down a little

With only a few exceptions, the majority of engineering plastics became stuck in a rollover in May despite that some feedstocks tended firmer. Producers had already factored in most of their announced increases and there were only occasional further hikes. The tight supply situation with PC, POM and PMMA did not improve in view of the continuing lively demand from the automotive industry. On the other hand, the additional trend towards securing volumes declined a little compared with recent months. POM also suffered due to a lack of Asian imports. The fact that the Plastixx curve nevertheless tended downwards is due to the large fall in the price of ABS, as these types are assigned to the engineering thermoplastics group.

The final month of Q2 is likely to remain stable with fresh increases not coming until the beginning of July. Many producers have already made announcements to this effect. In the case of PA 6, converters are speculating that notations will soften. Things are likely to calm down a little as far as ordering activity is concerned in view of the impending holiday period. Automotive demand is also expected to decline in the summer.

Only with POM, PBT and PMMA might producers call for hikes before the end of the quarter, and the tight availability of feedstocks and polymers could also affect the longer-term contracts. With POM, intervention by the copolymer suppliers would be conceivable, as they have - unlike the homopolymer producers - so far remained quiet. The same applies to the very tight PMMA situation, for which one producer recently called for potentially record-breaking increases. Here, too, prices could well move before the beginning of July. The price hike announced by one major BDO producer could also push up PBT, although the polymer itself has so far been spared the rises.

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