PIE - Polymer Price Reports

Engineering Thermoplastics October 2015

Polyamides begin to slide / PMMA also starts to erode / PC surprisingly stable / PBT and POM mostly calm / Respective trends will continue in November

Cost developments and rising pressure from imports caught up with European polyamide suppliers in October. In the case of PA 6 especially, independent compounders were able to take advantage of the healthy supply of base polymers, which flooded the market. PA 6.6 also started to point down as a result of competing areas of application, including those serviced by the commodity-related ABS and PP compounds. Polycarbonate, on the other hand, remained surprisingly stable at the start of the new quarter, despite the previous fall in the cost of benzene. Clearly, its producers have succeeded at adjusting their output in the most effective manner. There were signs of erosion at the upper end of the PIE price range for PMMA, but notations of the remaining engineering thermoplastics mostly moved sideways.

While the import pressure on POM eased slightly, the massive build-up of Chinese capacities in recent years is beginning to have a more serious impact on polyamides. It is not only caprolactam that is under pressure. Simple PA 6 grades are now priced so low that they are starting to compete with regrind material and freely available compounds. Even the "classier" PA 6.6 is no longer able to elude this undertow. PMMA prices will likely see further corrections as they descend from their earlier inflated levels. It looks much calmer for the other grades, which could potentially see changes only once the year comes to an end.

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