Stability takes over / Increases only for flame-retardant grades / Polyamides surprisingly in adequate supply / Situation expected to remain predominantly calm in August
In July, notations for monthly transactions on the open market for engineering thermoplastics in Europe remained predominantly stable. Only with specialised PBT and POM grades treated with flame retardants and the under-priced dark/black PP compounds were there any rises. In the case of PC, the quarterly and half-yearly contracts were particularly hard hit because, in July, the increases that had accumulated on the open market over the last few months were factored in in one fell swoop. In the distribution business that is covered by PIE, however, things remained calm - contrary to expectations. This also applied to the majority of PE grades.
Despite the FM at a major polyamide supplier, the supply bottlenecks with PA remained surprisingly small. At any rate, competitors were in many cases willing and able to offer comparable materials as alternatives at unchanged conditions. As a result, the much-feared widespread supply problems failed to materialise. PC, on the other hand, was still rather short, especially due to the lack of imports. The EU import duties that have now been in place for many years are, combined with the weak euro, currently having an unfavourable effect for European converters - a similar picture as with PE this spring. Here, too, thought should perhaps be given again to changing the customs arrangements, particularly as one of the market leaders is presently more concerned with making itself "more desirable before it becomes an independent company.
Because some of the automotive assembly lines, which are so important for the engineering thermoplastics, will be brought to a halt in August, and the peak holiday season comes to southern Europe, it can be assumed that notations for the classic materials will remain largely stable in the coming weeks. The commodity-related PP, on the other hand, will become cheaper, and ABS is under a certain amount of downward pressure, too.
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