PIE - Polymer Price Reports

Engineering thermoplastics April 2023

Falling prices dominate / Short month of May unlikely to bring much improvement / Converters already focusing their attention on Q3

The contract for the key feedstock benzene – which rolled over in April and rose EUR 89/t in May – did not turn out to be a factor in the price negotiations. The weak demand and influx of cheap imports put considerable pressure on the engineering material prices, which fell by an average of at least EUR 50/t.

In addition, there were some significant reductions in energy cost surcharges. This was felt above all with PA 6, where individual quarterly agreements were fixed several hundred euros lower in one go.

European production is still operating with reduced output. This was easily balanced out by the arrival of low-priced imports, which not only significantly improved supply, but also caused additional price pressure.

On the demand side, hardly any sectors are running anywhere near normal. Demand from the consumer goods industry has simply been too weak. Construction and automotive were also unable to report any trend turnaround. On the contrary, things have once again moved a considerable distance away from the normal level that recently seemed to be approaching. Converters again had to put up with many of their orders being postponed.

All PIE panellists seem to anticipate a dismal second quarter. Along with the constant influx of cheap imports, this is likely to result in prices crumbling further. Many converters are already pinning their hopes on Q3 in view of the present weak demand from application sectors.

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