LONDON (GC Intelligence) — Polycarbonate (PC) sheet extrusion prices are set to increase in March due to supply disruptions.
PC availability was reduced after disruptions of the key raw material phenol production.
Media reports and market feedback suggested that due to strike action a major production facility of phenol located in Antwerp was forced to shut in January and for most of February.
The shutdown of the facility, which seems to have now ended, caused production problems of some downstream products, one of which is PC.
The affected PC producers for the past few weeks have not been able to guarantee volumes and one is understood to have placed customers on allocations.
This market tightness looks like it will probably lead to higher prices in March and even in April.
It is understood that sellers are now asking for increases of €50/mt in March and €100/mt in April.
The PC extrusion market, the lowest priced segment, seems so far the most affected.
While there are attempts to increase prices also on general purpose PC, by and large prices will probably rollover in March due to poor demand.
This upward pressure on prices could end, however, from May as PC production returns to normal.
As such, with expected low demand in 2020, driven further down by the coronavirus impact, and lower costs, PC prices could fall back down again by the summer.
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