PIE - Polymer Price Reports

Engineering thermoplastics October 2023

Further hikes in feedstock costs fail to raise prices / Weak demand, ample imports create liquid markets / No improvement in sight

The benzene contract for October rose an exorbitant EUR 232/t. For this reason, PC producers attempted to push through significantly higher prices. However, the high volume of imports and the languishing demand quickly ended their intentions. Although European plants are still operating with significant cutbacks, the market remained long because of the lively imports. The automotive industry is still weak, and the construction industry and E&E sector also need very little material. In November, the price of the feedstock dropped EUR 148/t compared with October. The next round of falling prices would therefore seem to be imminent.

For polyamide, the announcements by European PA 6 producers of wanting to push through triple-digit price increases because of the rise in the cost of caprolactam quickly came to nothing. Although these hikes were occasionally getting through at the beginning of the month, agreement was reached in most cases on price reductions. European producers are still operating with significant cutbacks in output, but, through an increase in the arrival of imports, a liquid market resulted. Nevertheless, many converters had to wait longer for speciality products than of late. Demand in the fields of construction and automotive was, as before, so poor that a few converters switched off their production lines or reduced shift work. In November, the shortage of specialities could push up prices, but the overall market will probably adopt a wait-and-see position. 

In the case of PMMA, miserable demand plus the large volume of imports sent prices tumbling once again. That will not change in November. Many order books are still exceptionally empty. Impulses from the automotive sector are virtually non-existent, and the weakness in the construction industry cannot be glossed over even in November by putting the blame on “seasonal effects”.

More information on PIE Polymer Price services ...