Wave of increases rolls on through the market / Rises smaller than in March / Market tending tight / Some delivery times lengthen significantly / Effects could last into May
As expected, prices for engineering thermoplastics in Europe continued to increase throughout April. As the impulses from the feedstock markets declined, there was a considerable amount of catching-up to do on the open market following the high quarterly agreements. In addition, availability was particularly tight with many types. Delivery times lengthened considerably and, with PC for example, are now as long as 20 weeks. Polyamides also tended ever tighter. In the case of PMMA, allocations have become the order of the day. At the same time, many buyers were nervously on the hunt for extra material because the end markets were ordering at a lively rate. The commodity-related PP compounds, on the other hand, rose only marginally in line with the C3 reference price. ABS reflected the easing of the feedstock situation and dropped from its record level for the first time, often by a triple-digit amount. Prices are nevertheless still very high.
The situation remains especially tense with PA and PMMA. Here, substantial increases are to be expected again in May, which can certainly run into triple digits. With the other types covered by this report, there is a latent upward pressure, but this could well be dampened by the falling tendency in feedstock notations. The flurry on the demand side is also likely to ease slightly because automotive demand in particular is gradually returning to its normal level.