01/10/2018

PIE - Polymer Price Reports

Engineering Thermoplastics December 2017

Prices take off / Ascent has begun / Cost pressure and bottlenecks will continue to drive notations this month / Buyers increasingly desperate in search for material

As had been feared, engineering thermoplastic prices in Europe lifted off on a broad front in December despite the normally slack business at the end of the year. In many places, the heavy cost pressure was exacerbated by continuing bottlenecks. Many buyers had to venture into the remotest of areas in the search for affordable volumes. In fact, in a number of segments the term "affordable" has taken on a new meaning, as many customers were happy to get hold of any material at all. In the meantime, ABS prices rose significantly as a consequence of the increase in the SM reference. PP compounds also took on board the increase in propylene feedstock, but the rise was more moderate.

There is little prospect of relief in January. On the contrary, the wild ride could gather further momentum. In Asia, the strict Chinese environment policy is noticeable, and this will also have an impact on Europe. Polyamides are about to climb into much higher spheres, but all other materials and grades will not be lagging far behind. In all probability, processors and users of engineering thermoplastics will experience an unpleasant start to the year when it comes to buying. ABS, on the other hand, could well calm down, but PP compounds are expected to face moderate increases.

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