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MARKET HIGHIGHTS: JUNE 2019

June 14, 2019

PA66: PRICES SET TO REGISTER ANOTHER DROP IN JUNE

Nylon 66 (PA66) prices in June are set to register another monthly decrease as a gradual slowdown in demand continues to improve availability. The current high prices were achieved when production disruptions tightened supply during a period of strong demand. The rate of decrease, however, has so far been rather limited as buyers prefer to maintain good stock levels as they remain concerned that a lengthy shutdown of a major plant of the raw material adiponitrile (ADN) could tighten the market again later in the year.

PC: OVERSUPPLY KEEPS PRICES UNDER PRESSURE

Polycarbonate (PC) prices in June are forecast to post another decrease as the market remains oversupplied amid low demand. Tariff wars slowed down global demand at a time when several new plants in China are set to come onstream. While the market remains competitive, it is understood that in June several sellers were fighting to avoid further decreases as margins are close to critical levels.

PMMA: PRICES SLUMP AMID WEAK FUNDAMENTALS

Polymethyl Methacrylate (PMMA) prices in Europe are forecast to post substantial losses also in Q3. A decrease in demand in most sectors increased supply and fuelled competition among sellers. As in most polymer markets, tariff wars that are fuelling an already weak automotive sector are mainly to blame for the slowdown in demand and the fall in prices. What is more, new capacities that came onstream in 2018, namely in Saudi Arabia, are adding further pressure on a weakening market.

PA6: DEMAND SLOWS TO PROMPT PRODUCTION RATE CUTS

Nylon 6 (PA6) demand slowed further in June amid weak fundamentals, prompting operators to cut operating rates to avoid a major slump in prices. The structural oversupply of PA6 and a slowdown in demand meant producers were not able to absorb the increases in benzene costs incurred by the caprolactam market. Caprolactam is suffering from oversupply fuelled by low demand of PA6 and slowdown in Asian demand. Prices of caprolactam have been decreasing during the past few months regardless of the movements in benzene, resulting in a significant squeeze on margins.

ABS: DEMAND SLOWDOWN TRIGGERS MARGIN CONTRACTIONS

ABS producers seem to be experiencing another contraction in margins as prices appear to have decreased more than the decrease in raw material costs. May saw prices increase by a smaller amount than the increase in costs and in June, despite the big drops in costs sellers seem to be unable to resist bigger decreases in prices. A slowdown in demand and competition from Asia remained the two main factors driving the current weak trend in margins.

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