Very varied picture / Price cuts with PC and PA 6 / Further substantial increases with PMMA and now also with PBT / Trends likely to continue in October
Engineering plastics markets in Europe presented a highly varied picture in September 2017. Whereas important materials like PC and PA 6 shed their first feathers because of the recent falls in feedstock costs, the near-dramatic developments along the PMMA and PBT feedstock chains have now become apparent in the shape of price increases for these two products. The situation with PA 6.6 also became more and more tense, but here the overlapping sector of the market with PA 6 had a stabilising effect. In contrast, POM seems to be a haven of peace presently.
Meanwhile, ABS also shot up in line with the sudden leap in the styrene reference price. The PP compounds also paid the price for the rise in the cost of propylene and its standard polymer derivatives.
With the classic engineering plastics, the respective trends in September should continue into October. Many quarterly agreements are still being negotiated, which underlines the uncertainty and the wrangling in many segments. However, the basic directions remain clear: Whereas PC and PA 6 will continue to be under downward pressure, PBT and especially PMMA will face further strong upward impulses.
Although ABS, which is heavily influenced by commodities, will be affected by another significant drop in the cost of styrene, it will be largely cancelled out by increases for butadiene and ACN. PP compounds will also continue to rise at a moderate rate.