Many prices drop significantly / Imports counteract production cutbacks in Europe / Tough negotiations expected in September with little room for manoeuvre
Producers were mostly unsuccessful in August in their attempts to push through the increases they had targeted. Prices of the majority of the engineering thermoplastics covered by this report fell significantly – especially the types that are dependent on car production. Only with PA 6 natural and PMMA transparent did producers manage to hang on to a rollover.
Both the automotive and the construction sector had to battle with worries of an impending recession. Both customer groups ordered only to a very modest extent. E&E, until recently somewhat more robust, did not fare very much better than the other two previously mentioned sectors in August. Contrary to expectations, there was no sign of any stock-filling activities. The lack of liquidity of many suppliers made the situation even worse.
European production has since largely adapted to the weak demand. Due to the high price level in Europe, however, converters largely tend to favour Asian material. In many cases, imports are keeping the supply situation stable to good.
In September, there is likely to be a mixture of small price reductions and a rollover. The latter could predominate in cases where the negotiating positions have hardened. On the one hand, the producers want to – and must – pass on the increased costs for energy and logistics, and, on the other, the converters can hardly afford to pay any more in view of the declining feedstock prices and poor demand.
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