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MARKETS BRIEF: DECEMBER 2019

January 9, 2020

LONDON (GC I) — Polycarbonate (PC) buyers look set to secure rollovers until the end of the year amid an oversupplied market and slow seasonal demand. Participants are weary that prices could stage a strong rebound as early as Q1 as worries over poor growth persist.

Polymethyl Methacrylate (PMMA) prices have yet to find the bottom as poor demand, competitive imports, and falling costs, namely methyl methacrylate (MMA) prices, continue to maintain the downward pressure.


Nylon 6 (PA6) margins are contracting and regardless of cost movements they will continue to do so for the rest of the year. The poor demand, especially from the auto sector, is a major factor that is placing pressure on profits. PA6 is structurally oversupplied and the current poor economics are making the situation critical.


Nylon 66 (PA66) is suffering a sustained downturn from the highs reached a few months ago. While prices are still relatively high and margins healthy, the downward trend has so far been relentless.

After the major turnaround ends of the only Adiponitrile (ADN) plant in Europe, scheduled for the end of December, prices could start to fall faster than expected.

Acrylonitrile Butadiene Styrene (ABS) in Europe is oversupplied, with strong competition from imports. This means sellers will continue to struggle to maintain margins in December.

Styrene Acrylonitrile (SAN) demand has been slightly more resilient that ABS, given its little reliance on the auto sector, but demand has nevertheless been lacklustre. As fundamentals are poor, there is little prospect for better margins in the next few months.

Polystyrene (PS) prices have decrease in line with styrene prices in November and a similar scenario is expected to play out in December. Demand is soft as buyers do not expect a price rebound in Q1. This reinforces buyers’ resolve to maintain low inventories for the end of the year.  

NOTE: For price indices, forecasts, and a more in-depth market analysis take a look at the GC INTELLIGENCE® Market Reports…

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