First PC and POM hikes grip / Rising production costs passed on / Polyamide still stable but trending up / Notations set to rise in March
In February 2014, the sleeping volcano started to rumble, as the swelling cost
of raw materials seen in recent months broke open the solid crust of the
European engineering thermoplastics market. The key aromatic benzene especially
demanded its tribute.
February´s eruptions were still rather modest and
limited to POM and specified PC grades. Although polyamide producers had called
for hikes, they were not able to push these through in full. The market was much
quieter for PMMA and PBT - with the latter actually seeing production costs
crumble. Prices for ABS gained slight
momentum while notations for PP compounds stagnated
across the board.
As March began, notations for all of the classic
engineering thermoplastics except PBT were pointing higher in the run-up to
negotiations for the new quarterly contracts, in which producers hope to be able
to pass on some of their cumulative cost rises. The signals for raw materials
prices were mixed, with rises for some products balanced by the fall of benzene
from its earlier lofty peaks.
Polymer producers will pull out all stops
to exploit the current cost momentum to make Q2 more comfortable for them. The
downtrend for near commodities such as ABS and PP compounds is a glaring
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