The upward trend that was established in Q4 looks set to continue in Q2.
PC prices jumped 10% in February in Europe after supply disruptions and strong demand continue to tighten the market, according to GC Intelligence price assessments.
Polycarbonate (PC) demand has been outstripping supply for months now, supporting a relentless climb in prices.
While production hiccups restricted supply, the strong demand has also tightened the market.
The automotive sector has been the main driver of demand, with buying continuing despite the slowdown in sales.
Even the shortage of semiconductors does not appear to have dented demand from the sector.
As sellers focus to supply an important market segment, buyers in other markets, especially extrusion, are facing difficulties securing volumes.
However, all market segments are suffering from the shortages as lead times have increased as much as 18 weeks.
In the distribution market, general purpose PC prices have soared to €2,600/mt or even higher.
PC prices jumped 10% also because of the lack of shipping containers and higher Asian prices.
The delays to bring PC from Asia to Europe have been getting worse every month.
This month PC deliveries from the region increased from 10 weeks to 16 weeks.
And the spike in bisphenol (A) in Asia added further pressure on import prices, already affected by delays and high costs of containers.
As the European market heads into the peak season of the spring, demand will remain healthy and continue to support prices which will most likely stay on an upward trend in Q2.