The current situation in the European market for engineering thermoplastics has everyones nerves on edge. The severe shortages of numerous PA 6.6 materials are proving particularly worrisome to processors, who are frantically scrambling to secure volumes, regardless of the price. But most efforts are to no avail. The situation is feeding fears about the availability of other engineering thermoplastics, although it is difficult to tell whether these fears are mainly rooted in psychological causes or find expression in an actual shortage.
The flurry already has begun to affect other market segments. There are reports that both POM and PBT are tight. Others say ABS imports are lacking and that the situation is no more promising for PP compounds. An investigation of these claims, however, shows that the situation has not changed much from the trends that already were discernible at months beginning. The fact that availability will tighten and prices will increase as a result has been known for a while.