PIE - Polymer Price Reports

Engineering thermoplastics March 2024

Re-imports push their way onto the market / Demand remains weak especially from automotive

So as not to drown in a surplus of material last year, a number of producers sought their salvation by exporting it. However, it has now become evident that problems in selling cannot be overcome simply by shifting them elsewhere. At present, an increasing volume of re-imports of previously exported goods are pushing their way back onto the local market and creating additional price pressure. This led to a situation in which producers’ asking prices were either capped completely or at least reduced to a minimum. Only smaller converters were unable to defend themselves against this, but the larger ones simply ignored producers’ calls for higher prices. 

The benzene contract rose, as in the previous month, by exactly EUR 214/t. The compounding lines in Europe are running as before with reduced output, and more imports also arrived here with a certain delay. Together, this has resulted in a liquid market. Demand, above all from car production, continued to be very weak. Only the premium segment ordered with a relative amount of stability, but at a low level. Only few stock-building activities were observed. 

The benzene contract for April was fixed EUR 37/t higher. The renewed calls by producers for triple-digit increases, however, are likely to once again be heavily affected by imports from Asia and by re-imports, in particular. Demand is expected to remain weak, as in the previous months. 

More information on PIE Polymer Price services ...