ABS firmer / PA 6.6, PMMA and PP compounds lower / PA 6 base polymers expected to push up compounds in the medium term / Demand slowly recovers
The engineering thermoplastics covered in this report presented a mixed picture in January. Whereas polyamide 6.6 grades, PMMA and, to a certain extent, polypropylene compounds trended down for various reasons, ABS materials (which have recently been updated for the PIE price reports) drifted upwards as usual on the wave of the latest styrene increase.
The small reduction with PA 6.6 is due to the recent improvement in the availability of feedstock, which is having a positive effect. Nevertheless, the price remains high. The cuts of up to EUR 300/t announced at the end of 2019 will presumably be factored in bit by bit until the end of the first quarter. PA 6 compounds, which have been stable of late, are likely to move upwards now that the base polymers have become more expensive.
The picture will probably be similar with PMMA. The maintenance turnarounds in the next few months at two German MMA plants in Worms and Wesseling will lead to a certain shortage of PMMA, which has recently been tending softer. A revival in demand expected in spring from outside the auto industry will therefore probably be utilised in the medium term by producers to push prices up.