Price increases for PC and PA after many months / Surprisingly high demand from automotive industry / Battle for material likely in December
After months of downward movement and stagnation, prices of engineering thermoplastics rose again for the first time in November, albeit fairly moderately. The most heavily affected were converters of polycarbonates and polyamides, where PIE received reports of increases ranging from EUR 10/t to EUR 40/t, particularly at the lower end of the price range.
The main contributor to the turnaround of the price spiral was the generally strong demand compared with the tight supply. In many customer segments, business has improved significantly. The automotive industry especially saw surprisingly strong demand following months of constraint. But producers of white goods and other domestic appliances as well as the E&E sector were also very active.
Otherwise, it is once again a case of the calm before the storm. From mid-December, there are likely to be further price increases, more or less across the board, because what is already a tight supply situation will become even tighter as a result of various unscheduled outages, for example, with PA 6 and PA 6.6. In addition, the higher prices of feedstocks and additive components will also have worked their way through. The biggest increase is expected for glass-fibre reinforced PA 6.6 grades, with possible rises of up to EUR 155/t.
Upcoming plant closures over the bank holidays, in combination with a certain amount of short-time working that is still ongoing, should reduce the demand to a certain extent, but a number of producers are still suffering from production outages – increasingly through cases of Covid-19. With the upcoming start of the new year, the protection offered by the quarterly agreements will also come to an end, so there could be battles for material in December.