Majority of prices on the decline / Weak automotive demand puts more pressure on notations / Downtrend likely to continue in July
The vast majority of engineering thermoplastics covered by this report tended downwards in June – in some cases quite considerably. In most cases, this was due to the weak demand from the automotive industry combined with a generally healthy supply situation. The three exceptions were again PA 6.6, where the price reduction was not quite so marked, as well as POM and PBT, where the quarterly contracts were able to keep prices largely stable. Polycarbonate suffered the most, and last month´s production cutbacks were further intensified. Producers were in some cases even selling off stocks at special offer prices.
Prices for the commodity-related materials also declined. ABS responded to the hefty fall in the styrene reference, while the unchanged cost of propylene was in most cases only just enough for a rollover with the PP compounds.
Automotive manufacturing continues to be the big worry. Most suppliers have already written 2019 off, and do not anticipate substantial improvement before 2020. The approaching holiday period with the expected extensive production stoppages in the auto industry will put additional pressure on demand. For this reason, a further downward tendency is to be expected, even with those prices that have remained reasonably stable until now. In some cases, growing imports will exert more price pressure, for example with PMMA. Only grades that are supported by other industries will be spared. With PA 6.6, the negotiations are taking place with no holds barred. The attitude of the converter community is "no price cuts, no more projects".