PIE - Polymerprice Reports

Engineering Thermoplastics May 2014

Prices are a mixed bag / PC up / Polyamides and PBT stable / POM sees small gains / No clear direction recognisable for June either / PMMA under upward pressure

European engineering thermoplastics prices showed a varied picture in May. Whereas PC continued to feel the effects of the benzene cost increases in Q1, the three months of polyamide price rises appear to have come to an end. PBT, on the other hand, continued to trade at a high level. With POM, producers' urgent need to improve margins resulted in a few minor increases. PMMA producers were eagerly preparing for the half-year negotiations, with early signs of impending triple-digit hikes. ABS producers factored in only a part of May's monomer increase. PP compounds prices, on the other hand, remained stable even amid the feedstock rise, largely thanks to the protection afforded by stable indexed orders.

Where demand is concerned, there seems to be no let-up in volumes drawn by the automotive sector, which would constitute a solid base for pushing through price increases. The upward pressure nevertheless appears to be limited to PC and PMMA - the latter due mainly to monomer shortages. As for the other classic types, the balanced market suggests that prices will largely move sideways. ABS notations will likely follow the EUR 45/t decline in the cost of SM, particularly since butadiene is down, too. PP compound prices, in turn, are likely to rise in response to three months of increases in the cost of C3.

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