Sellers are offering much higher prices for Q4 business.
Optical media PC supply is tightening in Europe in October. This seems to be leading to higher prices and longer lead times in Q4.
Optical media polycarbonate (PC) in Europe experienced good supply and lower prices during the past year.
But lately, market dynamics have been changing. Since August demand in Europe has picked up across all PC segments.
In addition, plant turnarounds and reportedly issues in the US are putting more pressure on supply.
Optical media PC supply is tightening in Europe also because there are fewer supply sources and it is a non-strategic segment for producers.
Optical media demand has been in a permanent decline since the mid 2000s.
This trend most likely has been reinforced by the increase in online streaming, especially during lockdowns, and by people making fewer trips to the shops to buy CDs and DVDs.
Moreover, optical media is a relatively low margin product for producers and therefore when there is PC shortage they tend to concentrate on the higher margin clients.
Therefore, the tightness tends to always be felt more acutely by optical media buyers.
But this aspect has been less prominent during this latest downturn. Optical media prices in Europe, according to GC Intelligence market analysis, have remained relatively close to injection moulding prices.
Optical media prices certainly have not followed PC extrusion prices which remain the lowest in Europe.