The boom in sheet buying is failing to offset the loss in demand from other sectors.
Polycarbonate (PC) demand in Europe is struggling in June despite the ease in the pandemic. The main reason why demand is still weak in June is the weak auto sector. Car buying is low and stocks are high. Suppliers to the industry say demand from the sector is extremely poor because of low production.
Several compounders with heavy exposure to the auto industry said they are operating at 50 percent. They expect this to continue until September or even until the end of the year.
Polycarbonate demand is struggling in June also because other markets are weak. For instance, construction while in better shape is lower than last year. Moreover, the investment pipeline is slowing down for some operators in the sector. The polycarbonate market will probably feel the impact later in 2020 or in 2021.
However, not all markets are suffering. Demand for sheets is booming. During the pandemic, polycarbonate sheets saw a spike in demand. Polycarbonate is one of the products used to protect people against the spread of the virus. But other products are also in demand for this applications. For example, PMMA, SAN and PET are all used in this capacity.
While polycarboante demand in Europe is slow, in Asia is another story. Demand in major segments is better, especially in China . In fact, it is understood that key sectors, like autos are back to where they were before the pandemic. Therefore, the better demand in Asia and China should also cushion the blow to demand in Europe in June.