Notations continue to crumble / PA defies price pressure / PC and POM down / Automotive better than scheduled / Benzene up in December / Stabilisation in sight
The price erosion with engineering thermoplastics in Europe moved up another notch in November. Rates for traditional engineering types such as PC and POM fell due to the liquidity of the market and lower costs. As for POM, it is still mainly imports that are upsetting the usual market balance; however, with polycarbonate, structural capacity surpluses are mainly to blame. The two-month decline in the cost of benzene forced its derivative material down slightly. Commodity-related products also had little option but to yield to the fall in the respective feedstocks. ABS grades fell by EUR 30-40/t, and PP compounds fell to a slightly lesser extent by EUR 10-15/t.
Whereas production generally continued as normal, the automotive industry in German-speaking countries made a big impression with very lively demand. Some OEMs have already announced shorter stoppages between Christmas and the New Year than had originally been planned. This and the renewed drastic turnaround in the cost of benzene, which rocketed up by EUR 109/t in December, will presumably stabilise prices for engineering thermoplastics in the final month of the year. Overall, there is unlikely to be very much movement on the market and the probability of finding any end-of-year bargains is fairly small.