PIE - Polymer Price Reports

Engineering thermoplastics March 2022

Market in state of shock / Tight supply expected to spur April prices despite weak demand / Little relief from glass-fibre imports / Automotive troubles remain

The market for engineering thermoplastics was terrible in March. There was virtually no movement whatsoever, with producers, converters, and users appearing to have gone into shock due to the Ukraine war. With many types, demand is as low as supply. Fundamental changes are not expected in April.

The few large producers are exploiting their market power – in some cases quite clearly. For converters on the other hand, it seems as if lethargic resignation is spreading. Many of them are shying away from conflict because they then fear even higher prices.

PC transparent, for example, experienced a small increase of EUR 20/t in the cost of benzene and exorbitantly volatile energy prices due to the Ukraine war that led to significantly higher contracts. The E&E sector and sheet applications propped up the market. The process of replenishing stocks also gathered momentum. Orders from the automotive industry, on the other hand, are still a catastrophe.

Higher prices for benzene, energy and logistics will also leave their mark on the GF-reinforced types. The cost increases for glass fibres, however, are not expected to result in the feared hikes of up to EUR 500/t because expensive imports from China, which are coming to Europe despite port closures, will prevent this.

In the case of PMMA, the largest European producer is still having major supply problems.

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