Strong demand and supply shortages continue to support the upside which has been in place since Q4.
Nylon resins prices increase €115-140/mt in January in Europe due to supply shortages, according to GC Intelligence price assessments.
While downside risks are increasing, the current upward trend should remain in place in Q1.
After the summer, the unexpected strong demand left suppliers struggling to keep up.
During Q4, increasing production issues fuelled the shortages and placed pressure on prices.
In January, buyers were struggling to secure volumes, most facing long lead times.
The sharp increases on PA66, which were €140/mt for natural grade, raised fears of a repeat of critical shortages experienced in 2018 followed by a spike to above €4,000/mt.
As it was the case then, a combination of supply disruptions accumulated during a period of strong demand.
Meanwhile, PA6 prices also firmed in January, registering an increase of €115/mt, also supported by the recent spike in Benzen prices.
However, while the shortages continue, there are some downside risks emerging.
First, the prolonged second wave of the virus in Europe and delays in vaccines could eventually hit demand later in 2021. Second, a shortage of semiconductors is impacting car production.
If these negative factors continue, then a slowdown in the upside will probably follow.
But for now, supply of both PA6 and PA66 in Europe remains limited, with prices likely to continue to post increases in Q1.