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MARKETS BRIEF: JANUARY 2020

February 17, 2020

LONDON (GC Intelligence) — Polycarbonate (PC) prices in January rolled over on the back of weak market dynamics and ongoing competition between sellers. The risk to the downside remains amid expectations of lower global growth.

Polymethyl Methacrylate (PMMA) were still falling in January due to weak demand, competition from imports and lower costs. While there is room for further falls, squeezed margins and better demand in the spring should provide some stability.

Nylon 6 (PA6) prices showed little movements from December to January. Caprolactam sellers were struggling to pass the higher costs of benzene onto PA6 producers. The PA6 market has not changed much and remains severely oversupplied.

Nylon 66 (PA66) prices posted decreases in January. As margins are still good on many accounts and there is good supply, prices will most likely continue to decrease. As a major adiponitrile (ADN) shutdown ended without any glitches, more downward pressure is expected as the risk of supply disruptions decreased.

Acrylonitrile Butadiene Styrene (ABS) producers continue to struggle to defend margins in January. The increase from December barely covered the cost increases. Demand is weak, there is good supply and imports are competitive, all factors that have characterised the market in 2019 and which seem to be continuing in 2020.

Styrene Acrylonitrile (SAN) prices increased, but sellers were also struggling to maintain margins in a market where demand is falling. The weakening economic conditions were affecting even the most resilient sectors, such as cosmetics and housewares.

Polystyrene (PS) sellers pushed for big increases in line with the styrene price movements in January and to recover some of the recent losses. The success was mixed, and it is understood that the big increases for the most part could only be applied on the lowest priced accounts. Producers are feeling the pressure along the value chain. As such, there will likely be a similar strong push in February.

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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