Slump in auto industry broadly drags prices down / Only PBT and POM still stable / Reductions in quarterly prices will add pressure to monthly transactions in August
In July, Western European prices of engineering thermoplastics continued a downward journey that began in autumn 2018. Even though there have been occasional reports of demand â€œrecovering slightlyâ€, this cannot conceal the fact that the situation in the automotive sector remains critical. With most traditional engineering polymers, the Q2 agreements had previously been downsized, and the first slices of this also affected the monthly distribution business. Buyers insisted everywhere on price reductions, most of which were then granted. PBT and POM remained the exceptions, with market niches outside automotive providing a certain amount of compensation.
With the commodity-related materials, the falling feedstock reference prices clearly showed the way. Coupled with the weak sales in the still very slow automotive segment, there were consequently significant price cuts with ABS and even more so with PP compounds.
For producers, the situation is unlikely to improve in August. Although prices could become stable to firmer for PP compounds and ABS, there can only be one direction for the other engineering thermoplastics, namely downwards. The automotive crisis is continuing, and the situation will be made even worse by the start of the summer holiday season in many parts of Europe, especially in the south. It is more or less certain that buyers will receive the next slice of the quarterly reductions in August.