Regional price spread increasing dramatically in Europe / Precursors costs cannot be passed on / Lower demand from customer markets
If there ever was a “European market”, it has certainly become a thing of the past by now. Instead, pricing shows that there are four to five individual markets with terms that differ from each other, sometimes drastically. This is true for almost all types and varieties. For example, the ranges in the price reports for polycarbonate fluctuated between a minus of EUR 100/t and a plus of EUR 210/t.
On the cost side, benzene rose significantly in June, by EUR 219/t. But this increase could not be passed on because processors simply cannot keep up. Demand from construction-related end-user markets and from the E&E sector has declined significantly. The automotive sector is not emerging from its vale of tears, and the expected inventory replenishments were not noticeable either. With summer now here and plant activity partly reduced, this trend is likely to intensify. The PA 6 market in particular is hard to believe – the price range here runs from a minus of EUR 350/t to a plus of EUR 150/t. Quotations have fallen particularly sharply in Eastern Europe.
Benzene became significantly more expensive again in the July contract (up EUR 386/t). This has already led to price announcements from producers with increases of EUR 100-250/t. However, in view of the weak demand, these are likely to only be implemented here and there – and certainly not in Eastern and Southern Europe.