Little movement as the year draws to a close / PMMA continues to rise / Producers plan January offensive / Rising costs / Price hikes highly probable
As predicted, there was little movement on the European engineering thermoplastics market in December. Most producers were busy gathering ammunition for the price offensive planned for Q1 2017. Converters, for their part, were not impressed, focusing instead on preparing for the holidays. PMMA was the only exception, as some of the quarterly increases were factored in again. For the commodity-related materials, ABS rose markedly in response to the extreme rise in December's styrene reference price. By contrast, PP compounds notations fell slightly. Here, too, feedstock price developments set the tone.
If producers have their way, the period of calm will come to an abrupt end early in the new year. A number of them have already called for triple-digit hikes for numerous materials. As usual, the brunt of the offensive is directed at the quarterly notations, although it will certainly also impact the regular monthly distribution and trade business. PC and polyamide prices in particular are expected to rise, and PMMA continues to move up anyway. Driven by higher costs, ABS notations are also likely to increase. PP compounds are headed in the same direction, as the widely expected rise in the price of the standard materials will inevitably leave its mark.