The fall in demand in most market segments is relentless. It is especially pronounced in the most important one, automotive.
Nylon 66 (PA66) prices in Europe continue to fall. This is because many market segments are suffering disruptions. The ongoing pandemic slowdown caused severe reductions in demand. The auto sector is the market that is suffering the most. Car sales during lockdown posted big falls. But now, as countries open up, demand does not seem to be returning. At least, from the perspective of the PA markets, buyers down the value chain are reducing orders. Some are even cancelling them. The reason is always the same, there is not enough demand.
But other market segments are also suffering. For example, construction has slowed down. Electrical and electronics is also not doing well, but not as bad as other markets. And even food applications is weaker. Demand for food applications increased when lockdowns started. But most consumers also reduced their trips to the shops. They are buying in bulk and so need less packaging.
Prices remain on a downward trajectory. From the highs reached in 2018 of more than €4,000/mt PA66 prices have been falling at a steady pace. The slowdown in autos and trade wars were the main culprits. But also production disruptions that caused the spike in prices disappeared. And as 2020 seemed to have started on a positive note, the pandemic ensured that prices would continue to fall.
Sellers are still prepared to lower prices to fulfil the lower demand
The situation seems to be getting worse. Sellers are still prepared to lower prices to fulfil the lower demand. Moreover, more volumes are being sold through trading and distribution channels. As such, some spot prices for PA66 Natural have reached just above €2,000/mt. While this is a very low price and remains the exception, it does indicate that the market is indeed very weak.