Year ends quietly / Production plants running with reduced output / January starts late because of weak automotive segment / Significant reductions announced for polyamide 6.6
As expected, the month of December ended on a quiet note. Most Western European prices remained at their November level, with the exception of the transparent PC grades, POM and PBT, which trended very slightly lower. In the case of POM, the dwindling flow of imports from Asia provided for a certain stabilisation, otherwise prices would presumably have dropped by a larger amount. Only PMMA lost significant ground.
Most production plants were running with reduced output to prevent stocks from overflowing. With PA 6.6, the closure of the ADN facility in France for maintenance was barely noticed because of the healthy stock level, and the weak demand from car producers balanced things out.
Only with polyamide 6.6 is there expected to be any significant movement on the price front in January. Most of the large producers announced considerable reductions before the end of 2019, usually in the triple-digit range, with some companies ready to grant cuts of up to EUR 300/t. Reinforced types as well as materials for automotive applications will likely be affected to a lesser extent. All other grades covered by this report will probably remain unchanged in view of the lack of contract agreements for the first quarter and the continuing weak demand. The production cutbacks with polycarbonate could well have an effect.